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The Quest

Odysseus found Penelope, that’s a rare happy ending;  Galahad held the Holy grail in his hands;  Tolstoy’s wife got to see him, at the very last (so I am told by an authority who knows);  Churchill saved England.  It can happen to us, you tell me, smiling, holding up a new waffle maker like the crown jewels sent through the mail.  I don’t know how you do it.  I have to be pointed at an enemy to fight, a wall to scale, a treasure to obtain.  Happiness comes to you by post.  “We can have waffles every day now, if we want!” you say, and I can’t help smiling.  How do you do it?  I can be satisfied, protecting that smile from the profound enemies of mankind.


Benjamin Wachs has written for Village Voice Media,, and NPR among other venues.  He archives his work at

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