I’m never sure if I have a great sense of humor or a terrible one. I’m notoriously picky about comedy, but I laugh at nearly anything that even resembles a joke if it’s said to me in person. I laugh at the same jokes over and over again, no matter how many times I’ve heard them. I have read this post that I randomly found online like seven years ago at least ten times and found it hysterical with each re-read. I read the beginning again just now to make sure it was still funny, and, sure enough, I got to “Happy Birth Day Dad” before starting to chuckle to myself.
Nobody else seems to think this is as funny as I do, which is fine; I don’t have to prove that it’s funny to find it so, just as I don’t have to understand why my students find the word ‘attendees’ so funny that I had to change the words in a story problem just so they’d stop shrieking with laughter and actually solve the problem. What makes us laugh is unique to all of us, so while I might politely chuckle through The Big Lebowski, I have no shame in uproariously laughing at this silly drawing of a face and the memory of that time that my friends wouldn’t stop quoting The Mummy at me.
I might be embarrassed that it takes little to make me laugh, but I’m not. I’ve spent enough time unhappy; I’ll be loudly, gloriously, obnoxiously happy any time I please, even if it means I get the side-eye for laughing at a cake in public.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(n.) from Latin cachinō (an onomatopoeia for laughter)
A person who laughs loudly.
There is a freedom in being quiet, a freedom in passing information behind open palms, unheard and unseen. When nobody looks at you, you can do anything. People look the other way until they are elsewhere and can talk about your audacity, your sheer disregard for decency.
But there’s a freedom in being loud, too. There’s a freedom in shouting, in laughing until people can’t help but see you, can’t help but acknowledge that you’re there. To laugh, sometimes, is to show yourself in another way, an audacity that is joyful and loud and rebellious and so difficult to understand.