Happiness in my Cheese Danish


Brandon Staley

I was scurrying about at home looking for my five year out of date encyclopedia when even the most minuscule thought of this article drifted into my mind. I had searched high, and I had searched low for my little disc flap containing various programs of juicy information, and at the time the ravaging search had reached little or no level of progress. Just as I was going through the top drawer of my old wooden dresser, broken and disheveled long ago, my mother knocked on the door. I called her a clear, crisp "enter" and she did so without hesitation. I knew she had been with my little sister at a doctors appointment but I had not expected them to make a pit stop on the way back. When she opened the door I noted in her hand my mother held a small white, orange, and purple bag with an all too familiar corporate logo on the front. It gleamed literal happiness from every of its marketing executive approval corners. It was a Dunkin' Donuts bag.
"What exactly are you doing?" My mother asked.
I will admit I must have looked foolish with my entire arm stuck in the top drawer of my dresser, my hair wet from my ritual shower preformed after every school day, and a cup of fruit juice in the other hand. I would only later realize that I could have placed down the fruit juice at any time, but at the moment I was far too engrossed in the act of encyclopedia searching. I removed my arm from the inside of the dresser, a few of my old karate belts, white through purple, coming with me.
"Well, I was just searching for my encyclopedias, have you seen them?" I replied with nothing short of a non-chipper attitude.
Her eyes darted hastily towards her room.
"I thought you put them in that pile of stuff when we cleaned the room."
The pile of stuff, I thought with glee. But of course, now that someone else said it, that seemed like the ideal place to put anything. A pile of stuff, how could I have missed it? I ran into her room with a speed rivaling only that of a woman whose baby was caught under a burning car. I admit that I lacked the adrenaline flow that would enable me to lift such a burning object from the body of an infant and save its life. But then again, I was only looking for an encyclopedia. Adrenaline rarely flows when one is reading, let alone looking for, an encyclopedia. After a few seconds of good old fashion rummaging, I found my way to what I had previously designated the "pile of stuff." Indeed there was a small packet that I recognized as what my brain had labeled "the encyclopedia casing." I was just ecstatic.
I walked back to my room, walked only because I had spent all of my mortal energy on the prior moment where I had run to the encyclopedia. Now on the walk back to my room I noticed that my mother and sister were gone. A few years ago I would have tried to do the math in my head, having calculated how long it took for me to get the disc I had so diligently searched for and how long it took me to find it, factored in a few more random variables and then come to the conclusion that no one could move that fast. But I was a much older and mature individual and I didn't feel like it. So I got back to my room and threw the encyclopedias on my bed. It wasn't like I needed them at that very moment or anything.
That was the instant that I remembered the Dunkin' Donuts bag my mother had carried in with her. I looked around for it, knowing I was far to lazy to go on yet another Indiana Jones-like quest, even if the prize was a doughnut, and luckily found it lying only millimeters from where I had thrown the discs. What luck. I reached over and picked up the bag and looked inside expecting to find a boston creme or another various doughnut of equal "yum" caliber, I was delighted to instead find a cheese danish. The source, reason, and rhyme for my even devising this mini essay. I have always enjoyed the Dunkin' Donuts cheese danish, but on that day I found it most uplifting, dare I say, enlightening.
I sat down at my computer and proceeded to write up this article while I ate my cheese danish, not wanting the air of creativity to dry up, crisp, and fall off when the danish became "absent" so to speak. I had recently been studying Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism in World Civilization so in my mind was fresh with terms like "take nothing for granted" and some little blurb about how the Indians used every bit of the buffalo. The buffalo part came out of some old Looney Tunes cartoon, but the "take nothing for granted" part I actually began to take into account.
The Super Bowl, sitcoms, a fireworks show, all of which are things we as humans delight in seeing. Even a date with a pretty face, a good movie, or When Animals Attack 4, things that too make us smile, cringe, or even stare astounded. A famous man once said we take for granted all of the big things in life. So imagine how much of the small things we miss everyday just because we're running by so very fast at our own pace, our own speed, or our own rate. Wise men say to stop and smell the roses on the road of life, but do we ever do it? Do we ever see a nice patch of flowers on the side of the road, slow our car down, pull over, get out, and kneel down to smell the sweet scent of life? Of course not. We can't just stop on the side of the road and smell some random flower. That's crazy, right?
But as I sat there in the isolation of my own room eating my cheese danish and drinking my fruit juice which had not yet put down and writing this article, I suddenly felt happy. As a side note, while writing this article I choked on the fruit juice and that's why the article is not called Happiness in my Cheese Danish and Fruit Juice. Sorry, back to the story. It had not been one of the most pleasant days that I could remember in the longest of whiles. Several things had gone wrong, and as I sat there, eating my cheese danish and staring most enmitiously at the cup of fruit juice, my mind suddenly slipped from all the bad things of the day. I don't know why, but I allowed myself to be consumed by my consuming the cheese danish. At that moment, things seemed okay, things were good, and the danish was tasty. Very tasty.
My point in short is that nobody ever thinks about the little stuff anymore. The corporate world has made everything so big and so flashy, always trying to out-do each other with such superb graphics and sound bytes that we often forget about the little things. We often forget about the butterfly on the leaf, the star in the sky that is brighter than all the rest, or the light show subtly placed in the shape of a person. We as a nation have been sucked into an intolerant society that has all but eliminated the child-like wonder that once existed here. How and why, I do not know. All I know is that it has been done, and it probably will not be reversed. I know there is little I can do about it, except suggest people to stop and smell the roses, maybe even see the butterfly, or like me, eat the danish.