Happy Lemon is a famous drink from where I live. But few people would know that there is a guy named Happy who made a memoir about his steep ascent from a major brain hemorrhage patient to English professor. Prior to his life changing condition, he was a happy-go-lucky football player in college. His book was yellow and hardbound. I fished it out of the book sale for a hundred pesos one time in National Bookstore Shangri La mall. I was drawn to the unique cover.
Happy Lemon the drink and Happy Lemon the man shared swagger and an extensive use of one of my favorite colors.
My signature drink in Happy Lemon store is the cocoa rock salt with cheese. It is the bestseller, and with good reason. Professor Happy’s life story is pretty much like my favorite Happy Lemon beverage: there’s a kick when you take it in, it has a unique flavor to it, and it dares to combine what one would think as an unnatural match of ingredients.
Sir Happy’s writing style is passionate and poignant. There was flow, although it was not as sagely woven as my other favorite authors. It’s unlikely for me to read a fiction title written by him in the future. But I read his memoir in one sitting because his life story made for a very compelling and inspirational read.
The graphic way with which he described things like his daily maintenance (he described pus unabashedly!) after brain surgery was enough to make me imagine it for days. It had the jolting characteristic I felt when I was skimming the cheese off my favorite Happy Lemon drink for the first time.
I was inspired by his example. His tenacity and his imperfections were on all those pages. He succeeded. If he succeeded despite that horrible ordeal that almost cost him his life, I have no reason to back down with my own problems.
The book’s font is quite friendly and accessible too, just like the openness with which I visited Happy Lemon branches in Greenhills Promenade, SM Megamall, and Trinoma for my milk tea fix.
I am thankful for Happy Lemon the man and Happy Lemon the beverage for teaching me to stay happy, making lemonade out of the sour episodes of life with the cocoa sweetness of having a good story worth telling.