{ Monday, February 10, 2003 }



Day Two, February 11: What you love.
-This one's about your favorite things, or pick one thing and wax rhapsodic on it. What turns you on? What gets you out of your bed in the morning? What brings you out of your funk? We want to know.

I'm a communication junkie. Plain and simple. I need to communicate. It's not that I'm all extroverted and sociable. It's not that I need people around. It's just that I need to communicate. I love nothing like I love conversation... analysis, debate, argument, discourse, speech, manifesto, books, I am in love with words. And primarily with conversation. But any communication or written word will do it for me.

". . .that is best -- to laugh with someone because you both think the same things are funny." -- Gloria Vanderbilt

Indeed. Nothing is better than laughing together. Laughter is the glue that holds my family together. Nothing is sacred to us, we'll laugh at anything. My grandmother was the queen of it. It didn't matter what she was talking about, she always managed to end it with a punchline.

My mother can take any happening and turn it into a funny story. She's telling someone about the night that I almost burnt down the house... and somehow, we're all laughing about it. Mom can find the humour in any struggle. She can. Whether it's tearing up eighty-five million layers of floor or finding out someone is dead. Mom finds a way to take the edge off with some laughter.

My father... I don't think my father knows how to talk without laughing at himself. I don't think he knows how to view the world without his humour tinted glasses.

My sister and I have that quality too. Everything is funny. We were canvassing South Central LA together when I was visiting her and somehow the simple act of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches in the backseat of her car next to a vacant lot became comedy gold.

With my friends... the ability to giggle at anything is what keeps us sane. I was reading the break-up e-mail to a friend today, and we totally were giggling at it. The first million times I went over it, it wasn't funny. But somehow, it was then. My favorite people are the ones who are always good for some giggles and snark.

There's nothing better than laughing together. Most of my laughs come in the form of a conversation. Just a one liner at the right moment or a story told so well....

"A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections." --George Eliot

Yeah, just go ask Writer Guy.

The cigarette. The cigarette is so integral to most of my conversation. The way it gestures in my hand. The way that you lean back and take it in with the words. The way that you lean forward for the ashtray and stay on the edge of your seat while you talk or listen. The way it burns down and you have to chainsmoke to keep the momentum going.

I have a hard time smoking without communication being involved. I can't just sit in my room and smoke. I can't watch a movie and smoke unless that movie is really speaking to me. Smoking in itself is not the act. Sitting alone, smoking, it's always a "ditty dissappointment" as we would say at camp. Smoking when the conversation is reeling, that's when the "ditty delights" come in and suddenly I'm chainsmoking.

It's hard to tell a story without that ever present cigarette. It makes the drama more dramatic. It makes the funny story more. The slight distraction that forces the brain to work that much harder. It adds something. It really does. It's my punctuation.

The company. The friends. The writer. The reader. Whoever is reading this, sending me e mail, chatting with me on AIM, calling me on the phone, standing in my living room when I get started, telling me a story when I finally shut up. I love it. I really do. I love the connection with someone else. It's not the laughing. It's not the cigarette. Those are added bonuses. It's the people. It's the simple act of being a human connecting with another human.

I love the simple act of communication. The remote and immediate ways there are to connect with someone else through words. It's better than anything I've found so far.

posted by mary ann 10:28 PM