Monday, 26 January 2015

The Art of Laughter

                                'If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.'

                                                                    Jimmy Buffett

WHEN I WAS a kid my cousin had a Bugs Bunny on a chain. You pulled the chain and he'd start yapping.

They don't make toys like that anymore. Things don't come on a chain. But sometimes I wonder if my life would have been easier if I came with a chain because since it happened I find it hard to get my  words out, in the right order. The Doctor told my mum that I had Meccano Words. It was his clever way of saying that my words don't come out fully assembled and that you need to screw them together to make any sense out of them. But if I had a chain you wouldn't have to do that.

It wasn't the words I was worried about. At least I had words even though they came out broken and people had to put them together for me before they could use them. It was years later when I discovered that I had lost the art of laughter.

Bugs Bunny had a box inside his chest that contained every word he ever needed to say. They never fell out of his mouth. People didn't need to catch them with butterfly nets. You didn't need a Screwfix catalogue to work out what the hell he was saying. But it was his laugh that cracked us up. We used to pull that chain over and over, cutting him off mid sentence so we could hear it. I can hear it now.

Whenever I go to see somebody I get the same words thrown back at me. At night I imagine those words on a big wheel and sometimes it won't stop turning. Occasionally the wheel stops on a particular word like cognition or desensitisation or rape. I have lost count of the amount of times I've tried to grab hold of that wheel so that I can open my bedroom window and throw it out into the cold night air. A cold night air full of people without chains. Where childhood and adulthood are well oiled machines. Where laughter doesn't slip from your fingers or live inside a rabbits ribcage.

                                                                                        (C) Ally Atherton 2015

359 Words written for this weeks Light and Shade Challenge

As usual I'd really appreciate any feedback.