If there is one thing I will miss when my days are done, it is laughter. The kind of laughter you shared with close friends where your eyes would water and you couldn’t control your own breathing. A joyous pain in your “diaphragm-in-spasm”.
I remember when I was in high school we would prank call people until the advent of caller ID shut our sorry asses down; we’d tell people they had packages at the post office or that we were calling to see if they were interested in writing for a local religious publication. We’d also throw rocks at corrugated metal buildings because the sound was somehow hilarious to us. I even remember we once went out in the middle of the night and took plastic kid cars and tricycles (left abandoned by their owners in their respective yards) and parked them all like regular cars in their rightful spaces on the Main Street of our small Midwestern town. The town cop was not impressed, but we howled like raucous hyenas as we covertly watched him collect the miniature child transports and put them in the back of his police truck.
Those days seem so long ago, and yet the memory is like gilded crown molding on the ceiling of my soul. I wish I still laughed that hard and that much, but as with all things in life, repeated experience has a way of stripping out the vibrant colors. I still manage to get them once in a while, but they just seem fewer and further between.
You always hear “you can’t take it with you” when people talk about money, and that’s true – the physical shit in this life (including your body) isn’t going into the Great Beyond. But I really hope – if there is any kindness in the Universe – that we get to take our memories of laughter with us. I’d smuggle them out of the cave like gemstones if I knew how, but something tells me that is going to require some hardcore shoplifting talent.
Because if there is a Creator, he or she ain’t no damn mall cop.