Roots (In Search of Happiness)

July 7, 2002


I have been riding passenger down somebody else’s memory lane, but this road is where my roots were once planted, and grown though they have, it is mandatory to locate and become familiar with your point of origin. My mother was a beauty queen, and her mother was a saint. My grandfather was a Navy man in WWII and was overseas when my mother was born. He lived to watch his first wife die, his second wife divorce him, and his three beautiful daughters turn into women, have children of their own, and then dumped by their husbands. He has played witness to three generations, and at 75, is still going strong. As for me, I am still waiting for the best years of my life. Maybe I’m living them now. My brother is in Yellowstone having a wonderful time. He’s thinking about staying through the winter. Mom doesn’t think he’s coming back, this makes me both sad and ecstatically happy. I miss him tremendously but the mountains could very well save his life, and I won’t be too far behind in moving up to Bozeman. It’s a great little town, but not too little. I have spoken of the importance of family, but it is that same family that seems to be holding me back for I too considered moving to Bozeman when I was living up in Montana, but I came back for friends and family and school, I guess. But my friends here are sparse and my family will always be here, for a while anyhow. I didn’t realize how much of a change I really needed until my return from Yellowstone. Now, I’m ready for another change. Time is a human’s worst enemy, and since I don’t plan on ever making friends with him, I must act fast before my time is up. So this brings me to my next topic of discussion: how do I come about capturing happiness by the ears?

I was in Bay City last weekend and I awoke Saturday morning, or afternoon, rather, crying. The night before was spent at my cousin’s house just hanging out, but eventually and inevitably Lyle’s name was brought up. Lyle, the guy who hung himself. Lyle, my best friend’s ex-fiancé and first and only true love. Lyle, my temporary friend. The big rumor now is that Lyle was actually murdered by his girlfriend and her boyfriend. Something about the suicide note, which was a journal entry, being questionable, and him buying groceries that same day. Lyle’s stepfather showed up at my cousin’s Friday night and tells us all about a cat’s life that he saved a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, the cat had gotten strangled up in something and was about to hang itself until Billy saved him. Nobody really said anything in return. I hate that town, but to return to my point about happiness, what makes someone willingly give up? I don’t believe Lyle was murdered, but I can understand why close friends and family would desire to believe just that. How is it that someone with a child, a future, a family, can just up and kill themselves? We saw this same behavior with Cobain. He had a beautiful baby girl, a successful career, a promising future, and yet happiness could never be obtained. What went wrong? And what rumors were spread about Courtney afterward? Oh, she killed Kurt. She hired someone to have him killed. But all we really need to do is listen, I mean really listen to his music for the answer:

“I think I’m dumb, or maybe just happy, think I’m just happy…”

So just how difficult is happiness to come by? And when it’s staring me right in the face, will I ever recognize it for what it is? Perhaps happiness has been sensationalized, and it’s really not as great as it seems.

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist