Fact: the sound of laughter is so common and familiar, it can be recognized if played backwards on tape.
I have my sunglasses on and I probably look like something exhausted, but with golden brown hair and pink lips. I wonder how I did on the test, if I’ll ever be able to write a piece that’s intentionally funny for the sole purpose of publication, like I’m supposed to - “supposed” to.
Nothing is funny on purpose. Things die or decay, like a big pit left on a bus seat, an unearthed seed. And we laugh because it’s all out of place. Everything is out of place all the time; we don’t know where we are or how we got here. That’s the story I’d be writing if I set out to write one now. Humor is terrifying.
Funny isn’t making light of something. It’s making it into something else entirely. It’s a process, a cross between making your own pasta (cool, but tedious) and sharpening pencils (strange, but necessary). You can’t bullshit funny like you can other things.
When I get on the bus to go home, the only open seat is in the corner of a couple - a woman with a laminated card of butterfly diagrams and a man eating a nectarine or a peach without a napkin. He drips on his pants. She has a butterfly net. She smiles at nothing in particular, nothing I can see.
So when he stands up and there’s a sticker on his pants and a stain on his crotch, what do I do? I laugh. Curiously enough, children laugh about 400 times a day, whereas adults laugh an average of 15 times a day. I like the idea of catching up.