Us North Americans

Late in the party, with the last two handfuls of us gathered around an island in the kitchen, Ben says, “Would you rather be smarter or happier?”

Katie says smarter. Cory says happier. Alice says we need achievement in our lives. We all agree that the options feel forced. There’s too much competition in North America and too much talk about money. There’s also an orange peel on the floor.

Annie shifts to stand on one foot. Kathy smiles as Ryan and Sionnach settle together in a chair. Then Peter raises a glass and I say, “Good question, Ben.”