Wednesday, October 19, 2016

laugh then cry (then laugh again)

I laugh
a lot
admittedly, mostly at my own jokes
at cat videos on the internet
and at inappropriate times
"it's better to laugh than cry"
oh but
I cry
a lot
admittedly, mostly at my own faults
at cat videos on the internet
and at any given time

sometimes
it happens
simultaneously
hot tears melt mascara
salty streaks of black drip to my grin
I'm hurt but I'm giggling I've learnt
to turn this, whatever this is
into a coping mechanism

see, the first funeral I attended was spent sobbing
into my hands
and when I was scolded by teachers for doing wrong
though sincere in my apologies and in my grief
the muscles in my mouth
had other plans
an involuntary smile splits across my face for fuck's sake
an obnoxious grin, bright and beaming
I tend to forget other people
can't hear loud, guttural
internal screaming
dad once told me that light travels faster than sound
the thunder of my laughter rumbles in the sky
embarrassing, unforgiving, shaking the ground

teenage fingers found their way violently
to the back of my throat
digging up the guilt I felt at the size of my waist
I gag and choke
convincing myself that I didn't deserve this space
a hate filled melodramatic hormonal joke
naked and kneeling on the shower floor
tears welling, upset at this self loathing gimmick
lips smiling, amused at the thought of fitting song lyric
I dry heave
heavy
...mom's spaghetti

the first break up I went through was spent pleading into my phone
telling him I loved him, begging him not to go
with a lump in my throat and weight on my chest
I still found the obscure, comical aspect
though goodbye had never felt so wrong on my tongue
I've been taught to curtsy
and smile politely when a show is done
giggling through tears at the call ended tone
the lesson here is that you can't make a person your home
that moment was the last time I made
and had heard him laugh
discovering true pain is felt creating light for others
in the depths of your dark

strangers fingers found their way violently
underneath my short skirt
he handled me carelessly
drunk, cheap, worthless dirt
fear set in rendering me frozen, watching the door being locked behind him
mimicking what I saw when I needed to escape
the situation is something I laughed at and mocked
but for weeks after in crowds, in sleep
I couldn't stop seeing his face
feeling at fault, hands heavy with shame
I owe it to being able to joke, to make fun
for how this was an incident I overcame

sometimes
it happens
simultaneously
laughter erupts in the midst of sobs
crying over tragedy you can't tell me
that spilt milk isn't enough reason
that this isn't funny
that misfortune isn't an opportunity
to make myself the punchline
sometimes
the class clown considers the fall
from the Brisbane story bridge and my fingernails claw
angrily at the words permanently etched above my knee if laughter
is the best medicine then why is my brain still so fucking sick my gp told me
to swallow a pill once every day until I feel a bit better but the cheap wine I down with it tastes so fucking bitter I laugh so hard sometimes I can't fucking breathe
I cry so hard sometimes
it's a struggle just to be

I'm the comedian of my own life, my mistakes
are the quality content I present to an audience of one
humility is hilarity and smiles are free
call this thing, whatever this is
a talent
or maybe some form of art
being able to turn serious moments
into personal jokes
and while my humour is a gift I'm thankful for from my folks
I would prefer I had the ability
in something...
practical
like mathematics
or emotional stability