I just got back from the local beach at the end of Lincoln Boulevard. It started raining at about three o’clock this morning. Although the rain stopped a few hours ago, it’s still a cool, foggy, dreary day so there were only extremely few people on the beach. The last individual I saw on the way back was a young guy with a white dog. Right now he must be thinking about his wife and kids and how he can keep track of all their schedules, and he hopes it doesn’t start raining yet again because he’s sick and tired of always having to drive back and forth to work, and to go shopping and to run errands in general, on a rainy foggy day. Then there’s always the problem of how to deal with a wet, smelly dog. Because practically everybody in the entire City of Long Beach has a dog, and can frequently be seen outside walking it, this gentleman must have a large supply of anecdotes he’s looking forward to being able to tell about his antics with all his fellow dog-walkers. Besides that he wants to know what his friends think of the latest adventures of all their favorite sports franchises and politicians, as well as what a bunch of certified morons their opponents are. His life is all about taxes and other bills, car keys, cell phones, car pools, extra curricular activities, and miscellaneous annoyances. Things that were once so fresh and enjoyable are now equally stale and dull. Maybe his wife is no longer the beauty queen and sweetheart he thought she was fifteen years ago, nor his kids the perfect models of behavior. Like everyone he’s hounded by aggravation, resentment and regrets. Nobody at work understands him, but at least everyone is willing to humor him. At least he’s aware of the fact that his life’s only as big of a mess as everyone else’s anyway. Being happy most certainly isn’t easy.