So I think the definition of happiness is: You accidentally discovered on google (not that you googled) this person who dumped you is
1) Married to a beautiful woman.
2) Has at least one child.
3) MOST IMPORTANTLY: Is waaaaaaaay more successful than oneself, professionally.
4) Has soooooooo many more articles.
5) And is maybe one of the most successful academics in the kinda groovy exotic country in which he now lives. I mean, he is lauded. Newspaper articles.
And this does not bother you.
I know you are not believing me now.
The fact is that I am A-OK with the dumper's success (the dumper, whom I once called 'the evil one'). Truly, I am. It is good that he is doing so great. I wish we had not had our unfortunate little thing because then I could email him and say: How the living *&^% do you get so many *&^%*@ articles published?' But I can't because that would be weird.
He was always really on the ball, that guy.
So it sounds like a good definition of happiness: Your nemesis, the brutal heart stomping betrayer of yore is doing even better than you and it doesn't bother you. You wish him/her well. Nor do you feel much envy because of all that you have. What you have is so good that all you can think is how that path led you to this place and this is the place you want to be, need to be. Even the whole destiny thing kind of tinkles in the background.
There might be a better way to put it, but that's like a kind of hallmark card that they will never make that you could send to that person, who was almost but not quite a life-ruiner. (Inadvertent, when I think about it.)
There were three things that he-who-shall-not-be-named introduced me to, at least in the deeper sense:
(1) The Dark Lady Sonnets...Oh, so true. Oh, word Shakespeare. Double word.
(2) Proust. Albertine. I totally got Albertine. Albertine? Is that what Proust calls her? Albertine was based on a man so I can't remember the name of the real one but the name of the fictional one.
(3) Eric Satie. I don't know. He gave me a tape of Eric Satie. I don't even listen to Eric Satie now so that hardly matters..
Anyway, it sounds good that I can wish The Evil One well and so that must mean that I am happy except I am not happy.
But it sounds good, doesn't it? Doesn't it sound like a good conception of happiness?
Is that not the very epitome of happiness even if the test fails in actuality?
What interests me is that I am not happy but my life is right. There's something to be said for this. My life is so right. Yes, I'm utterly miserable. How can that be? How can my life be right and yet I am miserable?
I wished bad things upon The Evil One at one point. I'm not sure why. Oh, maybe his evilness.
God knows, it was 17 years ago. Maybe he wasn't evil after all.
If I get tenure, my life will be right-er. But it's simply right. Exactly as it is. Finally. Except for all the unfortunate events. But if you abstract away from the unfortunate events and the overall unhappiness, everything is just right.
But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?