I would like to be surrounded by happy
people. Well, perhaps not altogether
happy. A steady happiness may make
one dull, shallow, insensitive. So is
what I really want to be surrounded by
people who are worthy of happiness?
Sadly, such people are seldom happy.
In fact, I fear it’s their wretchedness that
makes them deserve to be happy.
Think of Dickens’ miserable decent
orphans, or Penelope, waiting for
Odysseus, who must also labor
his way to their reunion.
most Abraham atop Moriah, not
two weeks later on a tranquil Beersheba
night, dozing contentedly before his
tent after the fires have been banked back,
the camels seen to, Isaac laid to bed.
Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals, two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, a book of essays, Professors at Play; his recent novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction.