The Laughing Boy
Insane asylums are the only safe havens for genuine monks and nuns. That’s why I’m a monk. That’s why I’m here. It’s a clean, antiseptic linoleum-tiled sanatorium. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else or live my life anywhere else. The outside world today is diseased with the biting degrading filth of modern cars, contemporary chic clothing, and futuristic cell phones. It’s disgusting. It’s degrading. It’s unclean. Human beings have squandered their divine humanity for a life of materialistic ease-ease of comfort; Ease of worry; Ease of deprivation. Life is never easy and the easy way out never brought any real ease… or peace of mind. It condemned you to the opposite. My soft, linen- weaved doctor keeps reminding me of this. I sit on my ivory polished throne daily staring at the linoleum tiled floor vacuous, absent of thought, absent of remorse, absent of guilt. I discovered clarity and wisdom and insight by staring at newly waxed polished floor. It engulfed me in joyous lemon scented serenity. It brought me totality of complete being. I saw nature and the universe swirling in great cataclysmic orderly upheaval between my feet. It liberated me from myself and reassured me that nature…the universe… is my true creator and my destroyer. She is devoid of any malign humanity as am I. So, I align myself with her. I align myself with anything that cannot perish, but that which constantly recreates itself. She is the only mistress that I acknowledge. I am possessed by her sublime laughing fits and I laugh in return. I die of convulsive laughter. I live through convulsive laughter. I attain her through laughter. I am someone else when I am laughing. I am she when I laugh. Exultant laughter is the medium through which to understand her. No veil. No facades. No masks. I am unequivocally honest with her when I am laughing. I am not myself when I do not laugh. I am some other.
Lester stared at the distorted reflection of his bearded face on the linoleum-tiled floor and started giggling and laughed out loud. ” ‘Be yourself’, everyone says. Be who you are!” When he was genuinely himself, no one bothered to look at him and when he was trying to be ‘cool’ people laughed at him. He was ignored…ignored by his so -called friends, ignored by his parents, ignored by the girls… ignored by life. ”Life sucks and prostitutes suck on something else,” he chuckled to himself. He loved it here. No one bothered him in the asylum, especially his best friend’s blonde girlfriend Chelsea. Chelsea made a pass at him in the kitchen when Tom was away at work one early evening. Lester knew she came to see him personally. She made a pretext that she thought Tom was there, but he wasn’t. She said ‘hello’ and was about to leave but Lester knew it was a pass. She resisted when he tried to hold her, but she was only fooling around. He gently pulled on her blonde bob and then he heard something snap. It sounded like the snap of a chicken bone but much sharper. That’s why he’s here. He got found out and they put him here. He didn’t mean to do it. It just happened…like everything else in life, it just happens.” There’s always a reason,” he muttered to himself , “for things being the way they are. She said she loved me,” he said out loud. She really did in her own way. His voice nervously reverberated against the tiled walls in a distinct chime. He started giggling again. “I love you, you love me, can’t you see we’re meant to be.” He hid Chelsea’s body underneath his bed so he could be near her-that way they could be together…forever. He liked playing with her hair. He liked touching her soft, milky skin. Chelsea was his roommate’s girlfriend back at college. He knew she loved him…otherwise why else would she talk to him? She lived down the block from across the campus and would come to visit Tom for their dates. She always looked strangely at Lester, though Lester didn’t know why. But, it was probably because she was fascinated and entranced by him. She would manage a ‘hello’ and Lester knew she loved him after she said ‘hello’ to him. And he loved her. He knew. He always knew. He stared for some moments in silence at the lemon-scented waxy floor, grinning softly to himself. His head perked up to some timid, quivering knocks on the brass -knuckled door.
“Hey, Lester. How much longer are you going to be in the bathroom? I’ve got a date with Chelsea and I need to use the can.”