Raindrops on roses and fangs on vampires,
Dead souls and demons and bursts of hellfire,
Corpses in death shrouds all tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things…
A friend reminded me today that I am funny. When I want to, I can speak and write in a most comical fashion. Not everything I create is dark and morose; I also enjoy the absurdity and satire in life. Truth be told, though, I honestly seem to find the most humor in what others would deem “inappropriate” situations.
I don’t do it on purpose. I just see things that others don’t sometimes. Also, my sense of sarcasm is often overwhelming and impossible to contain. I am pretty certain I was born sarcastic. According to my mom, I made my first true smartass statement when I was about three years old. Three. Long story short, my oldest brother was running through my grandmother’s yard and, looking back at his friends, smacked face first into a tree. This obviously knocked the wind out of him and he collapsed lifeless on the ground. Everyone else froze, including my mom and grandmother. I walked up, pushed him with my foot, heard him moan, and said, “Don’t worry, he’s not dead.”
I wasn’t trying to be mean, I just felt compelled to make fun of everyone else’s reaction. In times of deep despair, I still seem to find absurdity. My whole family kind of does that, finding humor in tough times. It’s a coping mechanism, I guess. At my grandmother’s funeral, the little man from the funeral home was walking around her grave placing flowers just before the service. He had apparently come from the restroom, because he had a little trail of toilet paper stuck to his shoe. I leaned over to my mom, who was rightfully sobbing, and whispered, “Well, that’s shitty.” She looked up and immediately began to laugh. We both did. We desperately tried to stifle said laughter so we didn’t look like sickos, cackling at the graveside. It was August in the south, so the funeral home had provided those little paper fans, which we used to cover our smiles. Thankfully, people just thought we were both wracked with sobs, not giggles.
Don’t get me wrong, I was mourning my grandmother. I just felt like my mom needed something in that moment, and my twisted mind could not let the sight of that toilet paper go unshared. This is what I do, and naturally so. I seem to have a very twisted view on simple things. Does this make me a bad person? Nah, I don’t think so. I have seen so much darkness in my own life. I know exactly how it feels to lose hope. I am grateful for my sense of humor, and if I can bring a brief smile to someone’s face during dark times, then I am doing something right. I will close by sharing the best piece of advice I ever got. It came from my hero: my Papaw.
Papaw was my absolute hero in this world. My father figure. My first book was dedicated to him. We lost him back in 1992. Some time before that day, my family had visited him in the hospital. He was in intensive care, so we could only go into the room one at a time while everyone else watched from the huge viewing window. Upon my turn, I sat on his bedside and tried to be strong, but the sadness and tears overcame me. He asked me why I was crying, I told him it was because he was in ICU. He took my hand and said, “Well, on this side of the glass it’s ICU, but on the other side it’s UCMe (you see me).” I laughed, but then I felt bad for laughing. “Should we be laughing right now?” I asked. He squeezed my hand and said, “Kelly girl, never lose your sense of humor. Sometimes it will be the only thing you have to get you through in this world. Besides, you got it from me.” He smiled, we hugged, and it was one of the most precious moments of my entire life. I miss that man so much.
Humor is a good thing. I create spooky, macabre stories and poems, but there is also room for laughter in this world. We must never forget that. Papaw was a smart man.