The Ones Who End Up Smiling Turn Out OK
Written by
Anarda Nashai
August 2018
Written by
Anarda Nashai
August 2018

LIFE birthed each into sterile hospital sheets. Named them great names. Each brought home to cribs that were padded and dosed in delicate powders.  They were born different months and years, just like every other sets of siblings everywhere. They masticated homemade sugary cookies some days. They fell and fucked up their knees on other days. They all got hugs. At some point in their lives, they all got all these things.

And, each one was sat down and read the rules.

They were all told what was expected.  What they could expect. What cause, and effect would explain.  How they would inevitably because whatever effected their lives. 

LIFE would say this:   My toll is simple.  No matter what you do, say, think or feel:  Smile.  See?  Like this.  Now go!

They ALL had plenty to smile about once they grew and went, so LIFE didn’t see a problem with her request.  But as Darwin would have it, there’s always some ONE who chose not to keep smiling. Not just sometimes, but each and every time the rules were reread.  Here’s the only ONE who just will not remain gainfully employed in the way of LIFE.  LIFE decided that this ONE had attempted too often to barter with every other sort of unacceptable currency.  No smiles.

Always, smack dab on LIFE’s doorstep suddenly, this ONE always came to a point where smiles could no longer be afforded elsewhere. After this ONE spent ages traveling to and from places of beckoning refuge spending their smiles where they are no good.  Places that this ONE would or could no longer stay.  The audacity!

They always come, appealing to LIFE’s soft-heartedness when they are damned-near smile-less.  Right?

LIFE recognized the pattern straight away.  The ONE comes, with a few smiles.  LIFE takes them, then waits for a while, knowing that they will not last the duration of this smiler’s stay.  The agentic value behind each smile LIFE accepts is calculated:  

The smiles are shuffles and counted.  The smiles pay a few tolls.  And then, it happened:  The very last smile stands in one environment, but not in them all.  Not everyone understands why the smiler only smiles and does nothing else.  Naysayers grow less impressed with each smile.  And this would be the one environment that LIFE really needs for the smile to stand.  It fails on several occasions going forward.

LIFE snaps:  I didn’t say only smile, smiler! How embarrassing! Damn it!  Just stop…or go smile over there somewhere…

Thereafter, LIFE prided herself on her way of attempting to inflict extreme discomfort to some ONE when they attempt to smile unsmilingly.  Before she would offer the smiler too much enabling comfort and support behind closed doors, she realized that being the smiler’s public ally would mean further degrees of shame for her.  As the smiler’s naysaying emotional lynch mob would have it, LIFE was the cause of the smiler's performance. And so, LIFE decided that her outright shunning intolerance of the bullshit smiles would provide a solution.

She then grabbed the smiler’s hand and began strutting in a T-shirt that read:

LIFE will not support this smiler. 

LIFE will only take care of those who at least attempt real smiles. Those same smiles that LIFE has maintained in any matter with no problem.

Perfect smiles don’t cost a thing.

LIFE has her bull horn in the smiler’s ear now and is keeping the car running: 

Perhaps everyone is right.  And, of course, my gut is finally right. 

You are not a smiler.

So, you cannot keep me smiling.


© Anarda Nashai 2018

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