There is a dollop of truth to a good laugh; a sense of joy or embarrassment or cruelty. You can laugh at a person or with him. You can crack up or cackle. A laugh reveals a person’s eccentricities, his sense of oddness. It is in laughter you gain personality, dimension, and reaction.
You feel discomfort in people bereft of laughter. You tell a joke and feel offended by silence. You expect at least a titter of amusement. A giggle. A smile? But smiling is nowhere near as polite. Laughter forces the lips to curve. It grabs the abdomen and tugs at it like a rope. A belly laugh. A guffaw reminiscent of Goofy.
And where would villains be without laughter? The witch who cackles at the sleeping princess. Snidely Whiplash and his snicker. The Joker and his darker sounds.
Laughter is potentially an insult. You can laugh at someone’s appearance. You can laugh at speech. A laugh can be a destroyer of feelings…
or a savior of them. People who are genuinely funny deserve a response to their efforts. If a joke is good; the laughter should be equally hearty.
For those who attempt to fake laughter*, then laughter acts as a cover, a mask. It hides feelings and reveals them. A nervous laugh, a hesitant laugh, a laugh simply because you’re terrified.
I try my damnedest to keep the laughter in, hugging my stomach and holding my breath. Sometimes it gets so awful my eyes water and my face, redder than it was a few seconds prior, warms. I look at the person, then away, then back at them and start laughing again. But it has been a while since someone has said something so funny, I break down laughing in my infamous squeak. It has been so long I think I forgot how. I almost miss my embarrassing laughter. I miss making my friends laugh just because my face turns as red as a cherry. I want those happy tears and belly aches. I want those awkward looks from the tables at the other side of the restaurant. Please.
*In the era of lol and lmfao, it is impossible not to lie behind the guise of humor. The Internet has perfected faux laughter. I lol so much; but the real laughter is in the actual sound, not its three word (or in this case, three letter) counterpart.
Note: Happy World Laughter Day!
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
e. e. cummings
“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.”
Ha, ha, ha.