Yesterday I discovered the Little Italy of San Diego. It’s not spectacular, it’s just authentic. A couple of blocks with bistros, bars and restaurants where you can sip a glass of wine, have real pasta, walk to the beach and go back to sit in a comfortable coffee shop and chat a little (online and offline). Three beautiful girls from Baghdad were talking at the next table and I couldn’t help but engage in the conversation. If not for their language, they look like regular Spaniard gypsies, with that prominent nose that has always been my personal fetish. It’s refreshing to be welcome in a conversation with strangers without the regular checkout or caution. This is not a club venue where people come to throw pick-up lines, so the environment is relaxed and friendly.
I keep walking and I stopped in a corner made of glass and aluminum just before sunset. It’s a small bar called “Underbelly”. The design was so open, clear and nice that I sat down and ordered something just to be there. I already had a couple of glasses of wine and I didn’t want to add more to my bloodstream, so I ordered a “mocha ice cream” from the menu. They brought me three little pieces of ice cream into a fried container, covered with a light guava jelly. No fork; this was for the chopsticks. When I put the first one in my mouth I knew I was at the top of the happiness curve of my life. Nothing can surpass a little unexpected pleasure.
Timing is so important in happiness that the same experience in a different context is just unworthy. That’s why we try to time those moments, but by doing so we kill the second element that is even more important: spontaneity. You can go to the same corner at the same hour and not be able to reproduce the experience. With years of knowing yourself, the best you can do is to expose yourself to situations where you have a high probability of experiencing happiness and forget about the actual outcome.
I’m not looking for happiness; I already found it. I’m just playing cat and mouse letting it go and catching it over and over again.