Thursday, January 7, 2021

Laughter on a day of screams

(584 words)

On a day when so many chose to scream, I spent the morning with a woman who couldn’t quit laughing.

She laughed when I said hello. She laughed when I told her what I wanted her to do to me. And she laughed when I thanked her for the job she did with her hands.

As you can probably guess, I wouldn’t be sharing this story if I’d feel compelled to declare she laughed when I took my pants off.

Kylie wasn’t my hooker.

She was my hair stylist.

I say that like my hair has the capacity to still be styled.

Those lustrous days are behind me, as is my bald spot. I used to be able to count on really great hair. My hair used to have my back. Now I have back hair

Now, it’s thinned on the front, top and back. Its betrayal is near complete.

Talk about sedition.

I was in a good mood as I walked into the chain salon, something that always seems to snip what remains of my masculinity along with my stray hairs. I was raised to believe real men get their hair cuts from real men, preferably real Italian men, big boisterous storytellers who when they leaned in smelled like they’d been marinated in garlic Old Spice.

But out of convenience and in shame I roll the dice and go to one of the chain salons.

I said I was in a good mood and that’s true.

News was breaking that Georgia had made U.S. Senators out of a black preacher and a Jewish investigative news reporter.  I don’t know what these Dixie voters can do to surprise me next. 

Maybe elect Tinky-Winky from the old Teletubby kiddie show.

So I had a little spring in my step.

This was in contrast to four years ago when I was in a foul mood.

My side had lost.

I was downtrodden. Forlorn. Bereft. I vowed to take action. That meant get out the vote. Not just me. I’m talking getting my mother and father to vote, too, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds because Mom and Dad have been dead for years.

I wonder if Kylie would have laughed at that stupid joke. I suspect so. I imagine she finds things like AM radio farm futures reports funny.

I wasn’t even being funny. I was just there for a fast haircut and some light banter.

What I got was about 10-minutes with a human laugh track. It was pure joy.

People pay hundreds of dollars to top comedians in the hopes they’ll say things  to make them laugh. I contend there’s an untapped fortune to be made by people who can appear soulfully sincere laughing at the things we say.

Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re funny?

The cut cost $14. I gave her a $20 and told her to keep the change. She was noticeably surprised. She must not get many $6 tips.

It was worth it. Being around someone that sunny made me very happy.

It fortified me for later in the day when I saw all those self-styled constitutional scholars tearing apart a place so sacred to democracy.

So much anger and destruction resulting in nothing.

I confess now that I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to divine a comical conclusion to this folly and failed.

So a story that at heart is about giggles ends up being no laughing matter.

And that’s a cryin’ shame. 

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