Images of happy lives on screen set off memories unwanted of aspirations unachieved. Long chains of neurons dormant and unpotentiated reawaken visions of my future that never came to pass, that will never come to pass. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, and how has that changed over the last 5, arcing and waning and oscillating and drifting, the Fourier decomposition of which reveals threads of desire, of love, of fear each with its own frequency delightful or terrible. Unsafe sex. Vows unspoken. Hearts unbroken. Or are they ever really? The best way to monitor my mood is to query my opinion of my erect penis, as I look down at it. If I'm sad, it is small. If I am happy, it is big. If I am realistic, it is in between. But how often is that? So seldom do we embrace reality, even attempt to hug its fleeting specter so scared are we of it. And why can't I write two paragraphs without mentioning my penis? There is a big blue incandescent globe atop the Hyatt in Atlanta, and at one time it was the tallest building in the city, proudly announcing progress and stature. My mother honeymooned there, with her first husband, before her and my father ever met. I kept looking at it last night and remembering that. Only now the Hyatt is dwarfed by other hotels, its dream replaced, and the only time spent in any of them by this generation of me was looking down on that globe from the Westin high above, my lover and I, neither married nor friends. How much of our happiness do we derive from other people? How much can we expect to? Einstein once said something to the effect that a person can only rely on others for so much happiness, and that the key to happiness was through work. Buddha, one of them, once said something to the effect that the distinction between self and non-self is an illusion, and that we are all one and that the cessation of suffering is equivalent to the objective perception of this oneness. Happiness is to be found when you realize that you are others, in this life and those past. If it came down to it, I think Einstein could kick Buddha Guatama's ass, in a "fair fight." The bald and emaciated Buddha taking the perpetually elderly Einstein by the hair and gouging at his eyes, the two of them struggling, gasping, Buddha's robe unwinding and buttons flying from Einsteins's vest, locked in angry embrace. Siddhartha finally felled by a swipe from Al's cane, screaming "The universe an illusion!?" and then pausing, horrified at what he has done, looking down at Buddha's crumpled frame, his Safron robe spread wide. He outweighed him two to one. The smart money was on Al from the start. My money was on Buddha, and I lost. Maybe some day I will achieve a healthy detachment. For now I am attached, and losing myself in work to make just a fraction of my five year vision come true. I only hope I can even remember what my vision was 5 years from now, and I hope it was the right one.