Heaven to Humdrum
Words by Taeler Gannuscia Art by Curtis Allen
We’ve all heard of the game. You know, the “Seven Minutes in Heaven” game teenagers play? If you’re unfamiliar, you probably just played better games. For those of you who didn’t dabble, it’s when two people sit in a dark space alone, and during that seven minutes alone, they have free reign to do whatever they want. What’s remarkable about this game isn’t that it allows teenagers to makeout in a sloppy and amateur fashion, but rather that it actually allows a person to do whatever they want for seven whole minutes.
What a concept.
If you walked up to an adult and asked them if they wanted to sit in a dark closet with someone their age they would probably say no—and other special words. Because you see, most adults have seven minutes of happiness in their day, but not seven consecutive minutes. Adults have small, fleeting, mundane slices of joy. All of them spread out, aggressively underwhelming, seemingly insignificant, and each greater than the last. Here they are, in no particular order of relevance—seven instances of joy, according to a handful of adults.
Adult wakes up and groggily peers over at their smartphone. It’s 6:29 am. Their alarm was scheduled to go off at 6:30 am. In that minute, said adult feels invincible. They start to give themselves credit they don’t even deserve. They start to tell themselves they have reached a mindful and centered state—the kind you read about in lifestyle magazines. At last, now they know when to open their eyes in the morning without even being told and… Now it’s 6:30. The alarm is going off and interrupting the adult’s ability to keep patting themselves on the back.
Adult takes an elevator ride—alone.
Adult reaches into the laundry bin to start the next load of laundry. They discover nothing. Nothing is in the laundry bin. They are all caught up on laundry. Every article of clothing they own is already clean.
Adult puts a playlist on shuffle. The song they have had in their head all day is the first song to play.
Adult walks in the door after a long day. Adult’s dog is there to not only greet them, but literally jump up and down at the thought of them being home.
Adult is running late. Adult looks into the distance to see a series of green traffic lights continuing to appear right before them.
Adult decides to take a bathroom break at work. They conquer their fear of public bathrooms because, quite frankly, home is too far away, and they just have to go. They walk into the office bathroom and hear nothing. Not a sound. Adult is overcome with serenity.
Sometimes heaven is a row of empty bathroom stalls, and the game we play is life.