‘How to Find Happiness at 2:30 in the Morning’

On the blogs section of Spanish-language virtual magazine OhLaLá!, 17-year-old Octavio reflects on the pursuit of happiness. Among other things, he notes:

Y escuchar música en el colectivo entraría en esta categoría. Poner el celular en aleatorio y que las canciones vayan pasando, generándote distintos estados de ánimo, mientras mirás la calle y todo lo interesante que hay en ella, y todo lo interesante que hay en la raza humana, que se manifiesta de distintas formas.

Todo eso hasta que sube alguna mujer mayor al colectivo, y le tenés que dar el asiento. Y al “tener” que hacerlo, se convierte en una tarea obligada que me quita las ganas de hacerlo. A veces lo hago igual. Y a veces no, porque pienso en mi felicidad más egoísta. […] Además odio los autos. Bah, odio los colores de los autos. Teniendo tantos colores hermosos, ¿qué colores vemos en las calles cada día? Negro, gris, blanco. Todo esto, claro, contribuye a la deshumanización y alienación de la gente. Todos los días estos no colores. Tal vez sea un plan del imperialismo. Puede ser. Cuando crezca, ocupe la posición que ocupe, voy a impulsar un plan para pintar los autos con colores psicodélicos. Alegraría la vida de todos.

And listening to music on public transportation would fit in this category. Setting the cellphone on shuffle and letting the songs play, generating different moods, while you look at the street and all the interesting things there are in it, and all the interesting things there are in the human race, exhibited in so many ways.

All of this until an elderly woman gets the bus and you have to give up your seat. And “having” to do so makes it a duty and I don't feel like doing so. Sometimes I do it anyway. And sometimes I don't because I think of my most selfish happiness. […] Besides that, I hate cars. Bah, I hate car colors. With so many beautiful colors, what colors do we see on the streets every day? Black, gray, white. All of this, of course, contributes to dehumanizing and alienating people. Day after day, those non-colors. Maybe it's an imperialistic plan. It could be. When I grow up, no matter what position I have, I'm going to promote a plan to paint cars with psychedelic colors. This will make everybody's life brighter.

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