November 20, 2010

It Wasn't Funny When I Wrote It

Last night was our monthly reading at Day's Espresso and Coffee on Bardstown Road.  It seemed like forever since I'd seen Marie's energetic smile.  The place was packed.  Readings are for ten minutes each; one person went over to about 25 minutes, but the rest of us behaved ourselves.

I was late getting there because I was putting together something to read.  I used two old blog posts, married them to each other, and spent three hours finding ways to get them to converse.  All about the various traumatic events of this year, and a few others.  It was written soberly and sincerely, and the crowd started laughing at the end of the second paragraph and did not stop.  I paused -- hmm.  12 times? 15? to give them time to hush so I could continue reading.  At one point I even admonished them that "THIS ISN'T FUNNY."  And yet they kept on laughing.

There's something wildly healing about speaking of your tough times and hearing people revel in laughter.

If every trauma is a source of entertainment -- well, why not write the damned things down?  It has nothing to do with making light of my own experience; rather, it's about taking my experience seriously enough to let people see around the corners and between the blinds and under the bed.  People will always respond to authenticity.  Also, clearly every family abounds in lunacy, because only if you recognize the complexity of the situation do you have the freedom to be amused.

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