Man, I seriously am not a fan of hiatus-es. Hiati? Time off. From stuff I love—like writing—anyhow. But boy howdy, this past month has been rough. I’ve circled the emotional wagons, kids, (the second time I’ve used this phrase today) and my energies have been consumed in terrible and weird ways. My mom went back into the hospital which always throws my world upside down. It’s a fight to get back to that strange equilibrium I manage to invent. And so, I haven’t felt particularly funny. But, as I’m finding out, the importance of humor—even in the face of sadness and fear and shit times—cannot be overestimated.
Sitting in the stuffy hospital room I got to hear my brother tell of Vegas in the dead still heat of July. Like being inside a mouth. He’s an idiot for going this time of year. And all he did was drink and gamble and get real sick sitting next to the wave pool. He did go to Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum which was aiiight…but the real fun came when he went to the haunted house. They make you stand single file and hold the person in front of you by the shoulders—like a load of POWs. My brother was the last one in line behind his girlfriend and some of her extended family. One of her family friends has this daughter with no bones in her hands. Just cartilage. I guess she can’t really make a very good fist. Anyhow, this haunted house sounds super scary. People chase you and jump out at you and scream in your face. The girlfriend’s uncle got so scared he picked up and threw one of the scary guys. The girlfriend kept her eyes closed and pinched her boy cousin’s nipple. My brother spent the whole time looking over his shoulder and pushing the people in front of him as the scary guys chased him and screamed at him. I’m super jealous.
I got to tell of the weird cryptic email I got from my coworker that read:
A friend of mine in North Dakota is sending me the skull of a cow. For some reason he had to send it to my place of work rather than my residence, and it’s due to arrive on or about July 9. If a package arrives for me, that’s what it is. Thank you.
The skull arrived the day I walked down Bum Piss Alley and saw a man pick a pair of shorts up off the ground, hold them up to his waist and then sniff the crotch. He watched me watch him do it, too, the dirty bum.
My dad told some funny story about his father. My grandfather is a lunatic. He’s a very dangerous guy, actually. I guess some time ago he saw a plastic bag in the middle of the freeway and thought to himself, “I wonder if there’s some money in that bag.” He pulled over on the shoulder, got out of the car and quickly hopped—Frogger-style—across lanes of traffic only to open a plastic sack full of cat shit and litter. He has a very active imagination.
Old people tend to. My grandparents—I’ve said this many times—are a source of endless hilarity. I’ve been spending my Mondays with my mom’s mom and while she drives me ten kinds of crazy, I am always entertained. I could write book—Mondays with Kimi. And I could tell you what she might say at any given moment. Her phrases are on rotation: “Oh, the sun feels good on my back,” “Don’t get old, Katherine—getting old sucks,” “I hate hearing ambulances—it means someone is in trouble,” or “Where are we? I don’t recognize this town anymore.” She’s as sweet as can be and is always trying to stuff money down my shirt or give me See’s candy certificates. It gives me hope that old age won’t be as crappy as some make it seem. I’m telling humor can make your life way less awful. I just need to re-funny.