The company Clinique offers the following two scents: Happy and Happy to Be.
My pointed elbows swinging around in my haste to get ready one morning, I bump Happy off the counter and watch as he topples off, onto my square-tiled ceramic bathroom floor. In the few seconds before impact, I secretly pray that Happy might make it. Maybe, the bottle won’t break. Catastrophe averted, I will smile and think: yeah, how lucky am I?
The glass smacks to the floor and I watch as the bottle splinters into a jigsaw puzzle of bits of smaller and larger pieces.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Sadly, Happy to Be suffered a similar fate months earlier.
The overwhelming scent of too much Happy burns my olfactory senses, smothering me.
I see my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Lines cross my forehead, laugh lines flatten, nostrils burn, eyes run cold with this thought: I’m not even allowed to own a bottle of perfume called Happy! I am pissed with the irony of it all.
This reckoning causes the image in the mirror to begin another transformation. A new set of lines map a different network on my face. I break into pieces like Happy, scattered at my feet. I can’t watch it happen and for my own protection; my head falls forward avoiding my reflection.
I sob, wishing for happiness instead.
First published in The Commonline Journal.