Occasionally in my world, everything slows down and I reach a clear head space. I don’t say fuck. I don’t exclaim. And I don’t get angry. Yesterday was one of those times.
I pulled the earphone out from my iPod then from my ears. That way I wouldn’t have to lift up the cover to turn it off. Then I looked around the Dean & Deluca. I looked at all the people who were sitting alone like me and I wondered what they had become. Reflecting what I had become and what I would become.
A stead stream of New Yorkers flowed past window into the 42nd street Metro stop and Port Authority Bus Terminal. What did this lonliness mean? What was its opposite that I desperately prayed for? Was it a beautiful man to wrap his arms around me in bed, holding me there tightly, almost inescapably so? Would this opposite be a job where people would have to search me out specifically for something very important and rare that only I could do? Perhaps a service that people would pay mountains of money for and my Blackberry would beep incessantly about. Is this escape from solitude an intimate forum where I can finally bare my burdens and secrets and not be a monster? Where I would find others with similar secrets were people I could respect and admire? I don’t know. I really don’t and I don’t know how to solve these aching pains of loneliness.
And so when you can’t solve a problem you have to learn to deal with it. The head phones that I had pulled out of my ears may have suggested an answer. Shalom Auslander has been performing a story on The Moth podcast. It was a touching story about visiting the remnants of a concentration camp and also about a grandmother going through Alzheimer’s. And his conclusion was that laughter shall set you free.
He gives this excellent denouement about how laughter, dark laughter in particular is a victory. That Hitler probably never wanted anyone laughing as they walk through his death camps (as the author found himself doing) and that Alzheimer’s, if it were a person or a thing, probably wouldnt want anyone laughing at it. And so this maxim resonated with me for a few moments and seemed like this behavior may just be the answer.
Now I am old enough to know that epiphanic solutions to life long problems disappear almost as quickly as they are gifted. In my teenage and college years I desperately subscribed to solutions such as meditation, The Secret (yea I was one of those) and “don’t think too much.” In college, I seemed to have a life altering epiphanies every other week. So despite this new “laughter” solution feeling incredibly germane, I knew it would likely evaporate. But at least right now, in my head space, I can reflect on all the changes in the last year year of my life and I can look at my current situation (far less comfortable to where I was a year ago) and I can grin. (Not laugh, not yet.)