Insufficient Pleasures

Some portion of one’s allotted mortal happiness, but not all of one’s allotted mortal happiness distributed at once and also made permanent

When one person likes you instead of everyone

Or when only one person says how much they like you and then everyone else doesn’t follow suit so you just have to assume they’re speaking on behalf of everyone else instead of receiving a lot of individual compliments

Being called “a national treasure” only once and not every day for the rest of your life, each time by someone who has never called anyone a national treasure before

Having some food when what you want is a distilled concentration of all food inside of your body so you can feel like the well-stocked cellar to a thrifty Puritan family full provisioned for a long winter

Having taken vengeance on Fortunato of the thousand insults and recent injury, rather than having vengeance to take on Fortunato – knowing that vengeance can only be taken once and then recede into the past, that his many crimes were met with only a single punishment, rather than thinking “This is the week – today is the day – tonight is the hour when his sick complacency shall curdle into panic, when the look of self-satisfaction will flee his face at last,” vengeance achieved rather than vengeance to come, knowing that there is no more Fortunato to torment.

When the store has the brand of protein bars that you like but not in the flavor that you like best, and the only other brand that comes in the flavor you like best is plagued by Chalkiness and you have to decide between Chalkiness or trying your first-ever lemon meringue-flavored protein bar

Winning, because there’s a great deal of personal satisfaction in being thought of as a graceful loser, but no fun at all in being a graceful winner

If something good happened to you yesterday and then today’s just regular

Non-dairy milk that splits apart in hot coffee such that there’s a webby little matrix of non-dairy globules that look like those “vinegar mothers” that sometimes balloon up in kombucha and vinegar bottles, or a floating raft of little dead jellyfish