Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Laughing Hiatus

If laughter is the best medicine, I hope my medicine cabinet is always well stocked. I need to check some of my prescriptions, and maybe tell the doctor I need some funnier pills because I'm not laughing near enough. Plus make sure they're all up to date. I can't be taking old pills, ones whose expiration dates expired when Red Buttons was big.

Laughter is very good medicine and I think I need a fix. There's a house in one of the neighborhoods of my town, somewhere out there. And they say people are coming and going all the time, all hours of the day and night. But they can't shut it down. Some very funny guy must live there, giving the people their laughs. They walk through the door, through a bunch of curtains, past some guys with caps on backwards and their pants slumped low, through a smoky, hazy room, then finally to the room where the guy holds court.

I started off this day laughing at something. And I found it very good medicine indeed. Good medicine is ... you know it's good when ... there's a quality that medicine has ... the doctor knows.

You see a twisted up situation, a human drama or comedy, or a comedian says something that tickles your funny bone, or you see yourself in the mirror and feel like crying, but it hurts too much to cry, so you look again ... I just came from the bathroom ... I was looking at my craggy old face in the mirror, with a few stray hairs coming out of my nose, and the hair on my head looking like I'd spent the last five years in bed ... and I noticed a few blemishes, small ones on my nose ... I see the wrinkles around my eyes getting worse ... There I stand. I could cry but I try to laugh. It's hard to do when it's not that funny. But it's absurd, to look at yourself and worry about it. And I'd rather crack a smile than the mirror. Wouldn't you?

Finally I burst out in laughter, and could picture myself like in an old black and white absurdist movie, with the mirror indeed cracked and the view of myself coming from a dozen assorted, very disturbing angles. Then when I close the medicine cabinet, who's standing there but ... the Devil! Or let me walk that back a bit, the mirror isn't cracked at all and I'm looking at myself dead on in the starkest frame. Finally I pick up a hairbrush, destroy the mirror, there's a piercing scream, and the next thing you know there's a siren.

Did any of that make you laugh? It did me, just a little. Especially the surprise appearance of the Devil. I get sick of thinking in cliches but, you know, any old port. I'd rather think in cliches than not think at all. Although if you didn't think at all, there'd be some benefit in that. One, it'd be like sleeping. You'd wake up 40 years later and say that was a perfect night's sleep, but I seriously need to pee.

My concept today, which I'm not going to get to, thanks to this laughing jag, was the fact that I'm far up in my hiatus citadel, laughing at the world below, all my supposed "friends" and "followers" who have deserted me for taking and prolonging this hiatus. That would have been funny.

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