Laughter / Lightness

I don’t understand most laughter.

When I hear a joke that I perceive as funny, I sometimes laugh.

But if you fall:  I do not laugh.

If you tell me about  your frustrating day, I do not laugh.

I don’t laugh at alcoholism, including drunk jokes.

I don’t laugh at abuse, including punch jokes.

I don’t laugh at clumsiness, incarceration, or destitution.

If I disclose that I’ve been besieged by inaccessible facilities and you laugh, I will not instantly perceive you as being nervous or mistaking my consternation for amusement.  I’ll think you are laughing at my difficulties, and I will retreat.  I notice people always want others to take themselves lightly, and often give that advice after they’ve already done you the favor of dismissing your troubles as insignificant.

Today I got stuck in a chair because it was too low.  I had no choice of chairs.  I had no option but to use the room in which the chair sat.  I don’t have the body strength to rise from a low chair, and a chair on wheels poses particular issues.  I panicked. I started to cry.  I pulled myself together and used my feet to push the chair over near a wall.  I pressed my hands against the wall and forced my body against the weight of my hands.  Then I leaned out of the chair and took a chance that my hands would at least hold my body long enough for me to wiggle upright.

This is an accurate if embarrassing portrayal of how I got out of the chair.

I later told someone that I had gotten stuck in the chair and though I would have to call 911.   She laughed long and hard.  Aghast, I left her company.  I sought refuge in the corner of a room in which I work at that facility.  She realized her mistake, followed me, and apologized.  I let her do that. I submitted to a hug.  She apparently has no idea that I’m actually as disabled as I am.

I try not to take myself too seriously.  I realize that doing so can spiral into self-pity.  But today challenged me.  The trouble started with my car’s “you need gas” light activating after I had driven as far as Walnut Grove.  The only available gas station at that point has no pay-at-the-pump.  I had to go inside to pay through a door too heavy for me to open.  This required me to wait until someone came  along and follow them.  Then I had to hand my debit card over a counter higher than I can reach, go back out the unyielding door, pump the gas, struggle back into the station, and reach over the elevated counter for my card.  On the way out, I tripped over a box of stock, falling into the closed door which chose that moment to swing open on its hinges.  I sailed through the doorway and into the surprised path of a man who jumped back rather than touch me.

A few hours later, I got stuck in that blasted chair.

Laughter seemed beyond my reach today.  Maybe tomorrow I will channel Scarlet O’Hara.  Or  maybe Stephen Hawking.  One can dream.

It’s the twenty-fifth day of the fifty-eight month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *