That is what I asked the full-face masked gentleman on the elevator today. His response: “I hope so.” It made me chuckle, and he caught the fact that I am a person who can laugh at a wry, impromptu joke.

In my current workplace, it has been noted that I am able to laugh at things. Find humor in banality. It is noted in a positive way, or at least that is my interpretation of the comment.

It reminds me of a time in college when a friend who had graduated a year previous came back to pay a visit. He had moved on to a graduate program at a small, unremarkable midwest academic institution.

As we spoke, the conversations, as had always been the norm with us, devolved into periods of laughter. At this he remarked “I miss this. Where I am now people don’t know how to do this. People don’t know how to laugh and have a good time.”

Why this has made such a lasting impression on me I don’t readily know. This was 1989, which is how long ago… 35 fucking years ago. But he was right. Some people cannot laugh, do not laugh, do not understand that there is humor and nervous relief in expelling the anxieties that one feels when presented with comical or ludicrous realities of life.

People here do laugh, though. But it always leaves me asking what the hell is so funny. Gallows humor, perhaps, but I’m not in deep enough to connect with the gallowness? Sometimes these spells of laughter drag on for 10 or 15 minutes, during which time I expect any and all caught up in the hysteria to hock up internal organs or release brain matter from their ears and nostrils.

Had a panic moment yesterday. Reminding myself that I have no onward-and-upward aspirations at this place of employment. Nothing here interests me except for what I am already doing. I feel lucky for that. No politics to get tangled up in. But this prevents me from achieving a necessity. A living wage.