Epiphanies at Twenty: Laughter Is a Cover-Up

I was asked once how come I’m so happy. I was taken back by this question and wondered why it was thought that I was happy. I asked. What makes you think I’m happy? The response I got was that I was always laughing. Hmm. I thought about that. I do laugh a lot. Laughing is something I like to do. But that doesn’t mean I’m a happy person. I’m not a happy person. 

The truth is I use laughter as a sort of disguise for whatever negative feeling I have, whether it’s sadness or anger or loneliness. I laugh because it makes me feel better. If even for just a moment, laughter allows me to forget that I am sad, or that I’m frustrated, or that I miss my mother. I scroll down my Facebook feed, watch funny videos, and laugh my ass off. I watch dramas, and those take to me to an entirely different place, where I lose myself in the lives and minds of fictional characters. 

Laughter has begun to lose its touch though. I’ve come to realize that I’m using it intentionally, because I can’t be bothered to think about all the things I have to do and the people I have to deal with, because I can’t be bothered to think about all the responsibilities I’m acquiring as I grow older. While I’m watching that funny video on Facebook I’m still thinking. There’s a voice in my head reminding me that the real world is still there waiting for me, and that I will have to look at it again when I’m done laughing. The videos don’t even work anymore; they’re not that funny. My smile doesn’t last long after they’re over. 

I guess to someone observing me from a distance I appear to be a happy person. I smile and laugh a lot, I make other people laugh, and I always keep the mood light. I think I do this because I need to, because I need something different from my list of worries. When I’m around people outside of home I’m fine. I can be light and funny. Other than that I just mope really. Sometimes I try to write in my journal, but there are no words I know that can express whatever is going on with me. Today a friend asked me what was wrong. I told him there were too many things. Then I told him I would like to know. It would be good if I knew what was wrong with me. That way I could tell him.

I Think Chocolate Makes Me Laugh

A few days ago, probably a few weeks, I ordered a sandwich from Domino’s online. Before I was finished something popped up on the screen – lava crunch chocolate cake I think it was called. Do I want to add this to my order? Sure. Two came with the order and that was more than enough for me so I was happy to give one to my coworker when she told me she was hungry. I asked her how it was to find out if I had wasted my money. She said it was good. Good. I hadn’t wasted my money. The smell was nice too, so I used that as a positive sign.

After I finished work I left the library and went to my favourite lounge on campus which was just downstairs. I unwrapped my sandwich and ate it, disappointed that two cheeses were all over it after I had chosen not to have any cheese on it at all. Whatever. I took off what I could and had the sandwich. It was okay.

Then the lava cake. Oh my gosh. The lava cake. First off it wasn’t that great. I understand why they named it crunch. The outside was crunchy. That was the not so great part. I also understand why they named it lava. Man that chocolate inside really was lava. It was running out of that cake like a river and I was just licking it up. Thank God I was the only one in the lounge because I started laughing like a crazy person. Not really loudly or anything, but I was  the only one present and all I was doing was eating. If someone had walked by and had seen me laughing I’m sure it would have given the impression that my mental faculties were somewhat perturbed. I did try to stifle my laughter in the beginning but I eventually let it out because I was sure no one else was around.

It was the first time that food had made me laugh. That was new to me. I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t believe that I was laughing because of something I was eating. I was just thoroughly pleased and I couldn’t hold it in. My sister called me and I told her. She told me that maybe I was crazy.

Well I really must be crazy because it happened again today. I had a fifteen minute break and my friend who I hadn’t seen in a while because of our schedules was at work today so I went in the back room for a snack instead of in the lounge because I wanted to be with her. On the break table was a box of chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements. Apparently the boss got it from her son for Mother’s Day. Well thank you son.

I love strawberries. And I love chocolate. And there they both were wrapped up in each other. They were all huge and just beautiful. I didn’t know what to do. My friend told me to take one. I did. Bite. Heaven. My cheeks rose and I let out a chuckle. Wow. Absolutely amazing.

“I need to make a list. This is the second time food has made me laugh,” I said. I don’t think anyone heard me though. But it was the second time and those strawberries were really good. I had a second one too. There was a card in the box that said to go to a certain website and let the company know if the chocolate dipped fruit wowed me since that was the aim, and man I really am going to go to that site because those strawberries were amazing. Wow.

I remember how I cried as a child,
How we all cried,
And I laugh.

Walking around with our arms bent,
Our heads resting in the crooks of our elbows,
Belting out cow sounds,
Our mouths twisted
Into the most ridiculous shapes,
Thinking that our faces were hidden.

Our arms, already moist from sweat
Would become the most slippery things
After being washed by our tears,
And our faces would be the same.
A trip to the pipes took care of that.

And by the end of the day
Who would remember
What they were crying for anyway?

I remember the way I cried as a child,
And I laugh.