7 Replies to “8.17.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Hilarious, you say, and everyone laughs. So hard they cry or I cry. Isn’t that sometimes the way? And sides splitting and all the pink hot mess of my insides spilling out on the floor. And fuck, this isn’t funny. But it is, you say. And so you laugh. Never laughed so hard before. Hard as slammed doors or slaps. And seeing you laugh, I laugh, too, without really knowing why. Like it is infectious, and soon all the world laughing, with me or at me. Only, me laughing sounds different.

    Don’t you hear it, I say. Don’t you hear the difference? But he doesn’t. Nobody does.

    Laughing so much it hurts, you say to stop, but you don’t mean stop. And you crease me up, you say. And I think of letters neatly folded and the nail of my thumb pressing to sharpen the fold into a crease and then the hiss of the letter slipped like a knife into an envelope. And the envelope sealed shut and the words inside made quiet and still till the letter is opened again.

    Enough now, I tell him. But enough is never enough with him. He tickles himself pink in replaying the joke. And when he says it over, I find it less funny than before. And you had to be there, he’d say to my straight face, except that I am there. Still it is not funny. Like cuts on my skin, hidden by the long sleeves of a pullover in summer, and the white scars they always leave behind will never be sun-kissed or seen.

    Please, I say. Just stop. And he catches for breath, and he holds one hand over his mouth, as if eyes do not laugh, and I see that they do; and his shoulders heave and shake. Please, I beg him. He clears his throat and he says he is sorry, and he puts a hand on mine to show that he is. But it was funny, he says. Really it was.

    Leave it there, I say. But I know he will later tell his friends over drinks and he’ll laugh again then, and not having been there, they will nevertheless laugh too. That’s what they do when they are far enough in drink that they cannot see the truth. Leave it there, I tell him. And he nods and he leans in to kiss me and he does not taste salt or metal. Tastes only the sweet that is his own kiss. And he smiles to reassure me that he means no harm. Leave it there, I ask him.

    And when he is gone I listen, ears pricked for laughter. I listen to his footsteps going away from me and underneath, somewhere, the sound of him remembering the joke against me. Then I write it down, a cold record of what was said, the joke laid bare and dissected. And I read it over and still it is not funny, however I look at it. And I think then that it is me and I take a knife to my upper arm and make a new cut, like marks on a bedpost. And I swear – fuck, fuck, fuck – and I make a promise to myself that one day I will write happy.

  2. Ooops! I see this prompt is tagged ‘amusement’ and I have offered up something bleak and dark. I think it was being reminded in the previous post that summer was almost ended. I will try to write happy in my next response. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: