Under the Green Desk Lamp…
I’ve often been accused of laughing too much. It’s a charge I can scarcely deny. No matter what situation I find myself in, laughter tends to be my most ubiquitous means of communication. Sometimes, it may even be my own jokes I’m laughing at, which I’ve been told is especially distasteful. I’ve always argued that it’s just a matter of having good taste in comedy, but I’m not sure that’s really it.
The fact is, laughter is my favourite thing to do with pretty much anyone. To be fair, I may often claim that my favourite activity is drinking with good friends, or more simply enjoying a lively conversation, but the real crux of it is the laughter. Many of my closest friends and I will often exchange very few full words in the course of a long shared laugh. That’s bliss to me, that’s a connection, and I believe that it’s worth celebrating.
Sure, it can be construed as insincere. When the length of a conversation is marked by incessant joking and laughter—or sarcasm, most dreaded of deceptions—there are many who consider this to be a lack of honesty. ‘Why can’t you ever be serious,’ may come the cry from a pleading compatriot who feels that anything honest must be a solemn and stoic exchange.
But what could possibly be more honest than laughter?
You see, when a good joke lands, and your eyes meet to recognize the subtle meanings as they light up with laughter, there is a fulfilling moment of meta-communication similar to emotional intimacies like love. It’s a shortcut to bonding—an innate reliance on subtle body language to confirm even subtler understandings. More often than not, these understandings rely on past experiences and shared double meanings understood only by those involved. It’s a secret—and the laughter which arises from it is the sweetest of payoffs.
It’s communication and connection in its purest form!
Whenever people share a hearty laugh, their eyes open up to show a brief yet transcendent glimpse into the soul. This is a large part of why I always try to find the humour in everything; that, and the fact that life is just funnier that way.
Ultimately, I expect it’s a flaw I will always maintain—if it is a flaw indeed. To the chagrin of many, I will continue to laugh my way through conversations ranging from the frivolous to the solemn. I will hunt down the double meanings, call back to the shared experiences, and twist words in wonderful and weird ways—in constant pursuit of that glorious moment when the lips crack apart and the eyes shine like stars—confirming that some understanding beyond mere words has occurred, and that two minds have been momentarily linked in the thrill of this shared knowledge.
So I confess it, I am not likely to ever ‘grow up’ as so many call it. I will grow old, but if I have it my way, I’ll laugh right to the grave. A morbidly humorous epitaph would be ideal now that I think about it—preferably heavy on alliteration and innuendo.
Some may never understand this odd compulsion, but for that I offer no apologies. For those that find laughter an inherent roadblock to clear communication, I offer my condolences. For myself, I can only pray to someday be 100 years old, sitting in a wheel chair, hopefully next to a little old lady—laughing boisterously to ourselves. They’ll probably call us crazy. But who would I be to argue?
-Brad OH Inc.