What is happiness, anyway? I ask Rémi this as if I have never asked him this before.

We clamber up the stairs to the Humanities building, even if we are devoid of its titular trait; neither of us is sober enough to reach anywhere but Rémi's office, neither of us is sober enough to call the other a cab.

Yes, he responds, panting, at the top of the staircase, yes, that is the question, always, after all; but, no, I repeat: What is it.

To reciprocate myself unto myself, I yell, oh, God, the ecstasies!

It has some merit (oh, whatever, Rémi sneers), yeah, yeah, meaningless euphoria, copulation simulations, almost, almost, almost there; it's enough. Often, it's enough.

But what? What the fuck am I supposed to do with that? I hang my head and he looks over at me with worry. Control yourself, he tells me, ignorant even to his own irony. Yeah, yeah, I say, shoulders slumped, I'll do it, fuckin' grumble and moan, but I'll fuckin' do it.

It's what's there, isn't it?