Chapter 1: Strut - Davis, CA
The boy bounced off the walls; music rang in his ears, dreams animated to the rhythm of his thoughts.
The whole world was his, the whole world was theirs.
What the future had in stock could not be defined in terms of excitement alone. What the future had in stock could not be expressed in any communicable form of joy or enthusiasm.
He felt it all, the whole world, from the toes on his feet to the brim of his scalp.
The smiles, the laughs, the moments of joy, accomplishment, and contentment to come. The ones already here.
An image of him strutting on the street, music echoing his every step.
The path he would follow in life would be like this, he thought.
Animated, exciting, breathtaking.
Because life is like that.
To think that he could think this way, view this way, feel this way, felt phenomenal.
So much energy, so much enthusiasm. So much excitement for life.
"Will this end?" he thought.
"Is this just youth?" he thought.
There was no way to tell, but no reason to either. He believed the excitement would continue.
At becoming a grandfather, would he be any less excited?
He doubted that.
He continued to strut, music echoing his every step, every year of his life, every step of the way.
Colors bursted all around him, all in his head, an orchestra of life and liberty and joy and vivacity exploded in a grandiose display of what was now, what was to come, and what was to look back on with a jaded smile.
Chapter 2: Home - Isla Vista, CA
It was a foggy day, the dense clouds covered the gem of a town in a blanket of comfort and awe.
He ran and ran, step after step, through the street he loved with all his heart. Among the houses that marked four years of stupendous youth, and innocent joy.
The waves washed in and out, the fog lingered on his clothes, on his skin, and on the cliffs that surrounded him.
It was all perfect, everything.
People swayed in the distance on boards. Sat on the bluffs, on the sand, in the water.
It was all alive. It always was.
He ran and ran, walked some, breathed some, and thought some.
"Perfection. Bliss. This is everything."
He waved hello to a resident glancing at the beach, and walked underneath a cove of trees.
It was raining. Little drops of dew, condensation built up to the brim of release just as his mind was filled with droplets of joy. He looked up, stared, smiled. A drew drop hit him on the head. Like a reassuring pat of a friend, of an over-seer, saying "This is for you, this is your happiness, it's yours and it's theirs, it's theirs and yours. Cherish it."
He continued to walk along the cliffs, back to his house. A little cave in a community of paradise.
People playing volleyball. People in houses. People biking. People walking. The sound of live music and the murmur of a party.
His heart screamed, his mind laughed, his body floated among the foggy clouds in total, utter bliss.
Even the static from the telephone wires cued a sense of joy. A sense of comfort. A sense of belonging.
This was home.
And it always would be.
Chapter 3: Tacky Tapestries - Isla Vista, CA
He biked home from school, work, play. They all blended together. He biked home to an empty house. A long day of work that seemed to carry the weight of his brain with the cool fall breeze. A long day of work that seemed to postpone his dreams, sustain a sense of pressure. He sat in the empty house, the light of the ocean sun creeping through the door window. He sat. Smiled. Sighed. Not a sigh of relief, not a sigh of disappointment. A sigh of "this is it".
"This is it, and this is everything."
He was young. His friends were young. He was in college. His friends were in college. They were the sprouts of a new generation of ideas, mistakes, inventions, and setbacks. They sprouted alongside each other in a community known as college.
"And they would bloom," he thought.
He sat and looked around. Smiled. Sighed. It was all beautiful, being young. The motions of friends, strangers, students, and dreamers - creating their visions, living their dreams. Falling short but maintaining optimism. The signs of a house of friends, clean but not clean enough to be considered a house of adults. A house of 20-something year olds, somewhat scattered, but ultimately content. The tapestries sat in a colorful stature. The ocean gleamed on the fabric as it did a few steps away. Bob smiled as they did every second of every day.
Chapter 4: Dreams - Davis, CA
Dreams dreams dreams. They flew in his head around and around, millions of flying colors whizzing about. It was surprising that they didn't run into each other, that a dismal collapse to the ground like a disorganized array of dominos wasn't a common occurrence. They just kept flying.
"How to catch one? How to find one? How to focus in and attain one."
They whizzed and whizzed and whizzed, but the beauty was in the whizzing. The congregation of color, of feeling, of passion and joy. The purpose and potential each whizzing dream gave the future, the wholesome pursuit they created in unison.
To be a writer, to be a photographer. To create videos, to conduct research, to be a businessman, to live a life of service. Each held a life that seemed grand. Each held a life that seemed special. To be famous, to be recognized, to be comfortable, to be fulfilled, to struggle and sip off the secrets of success. To be wholesome, to be philanthropic, to be selfless, to be smart. To walk down the aisle of some grandiose event, camera lights flashing, press yelling, magazines printing tomorrow's issue. To feel special in a fleeting, brief but nevertheless special moment. To do things, be things. To be unconventional, unattainable. Unusual and unique. Or... To pay homage to the fact that life is more than that, that it is less but it is more in knowing the old saying - less is more. To be practical and recognize the truths in common living. That special exists elsewhere, special exists everywhere.
A common, undying struggle of the ordinary human being. To dream, to tussle in dreams, to writhe in dreams.
"Moments of clarity and moments of illusion. But is it not clarity that keeps you idle? Illusion that makes you chase other things... To be happy. To be happy. That is what we all want. That is what we all have. If we focus in, understand, and foster it ourselves. I have happiness, we all do. It is right there, with the privilege, with the people, with every moment we are able to live comfortably and firmly."
"If I have a roof over my head, some money to spend, friends by my side, and a family smiling wide - I am happy. But is that really the question we're asking ourselves? To be comfortable for our own comfort, to look at the world and think "what makes me happy" - isn't it kind of selfish? With a lens of secure contentment, what more can conventional bring? What real living exists in idle motions. What genuine breath is taken in stride of a passion not pursued."
He began to think harder, but his brows did not curve. Rather, his eyes relaxed, opened wide.
"Maybe it's more than "happiness". At the very moment we're born, we know how to be happy. Warm cookies on a cold December night. Table-side laughter at a family gathering. Yelps of joy within a group of friends. We already know how to be happy. That's not the question, then. It's what we can give the world. How we might create meaningful lives. How we might create meaningful things."
"Fuck the conventional" formed the pinnacle of his thoughts.
If impractical is insane, let's flourish in insanity.