I Think I’ve Lost My Laugh

By Olivia Falk, TIWP Student

I think I’ve lost my laugh. I’m not sure where it’s gone… I know that it was with me at one point. Did someone steal it? Did I leave it behind? All I know is now it’s somewhere far away and now I’m here alone. Just thinking. I am a sitting duck. My laugh has slipped away from me, like water going down the drain. I was always told to take care of it, and thinking back, I neglected to listen to that advice.

You may think it’s easy to go without such a thing. But oh I have tried. Every time I do I sound like an out-of-tune robot. So, I have but one option left. To go find it. This may take a while, but at this point, I’m going crazy without it.

At this very moment, I am packing for my great adventure. The epic story that my descendants will look back on and think, “huh that’s pretty cool.” I may face some difficult creatures along the way. The lands beyond my home consist of many frightening unknowns. Who knows what or who I could encounter?

Since laughter is so valuable, mine is likely highly guarded. I imagine that it has been held captive in a great, dark house. No, an estate sounds more fitting. It has pristine, stained glass windows with haunting silhouettes. There is a seemingly never-ending, winding staircase that leads you to a tower. The pointy top could pierce a heart, and the space inside is incredibly musty. That horrible room is where I imagine my laugh is. So, I must be ready. Preparing for my journey ahead is a great task. And it all starts with a bag, now containing (hopefully) clean clothing, my toothbrush, and books which will inevitably weigh me down.

And now, with what feels like some confidence and my bag fully packed, I’m off. For the first time in what feels like ages, I am heading in a new direction. Possibly a better one. As I shut the door of my old, bleak apartment and run down the stairs, wind flies through my hair and brushes my cheeks. I walk with purpose, though I don’t know where my map of ambition will lead me. I have a new type of purpose. One that follows the intangible.

The streets around me lie empty. Where I will go they will teem with life. The flowers are wilted, long forgotten. I will see them bloom ferociously. The buildings around me slump and sigh. You won’t see me near one of those ever again. I want to see bees and butterflies. Smell food simmering and laughter bubbling. I want to bathe in the pleasure of learning a new place. I wish for crossed pinkies of commitment and the promise of love. I want my laugh. And I want to share it.

As I take a last look at the sky, I see a runny yolk and clouds of sharp shells. An egg that has been dropped on the floor. Broken and messy to clean. It might be too far gone to salvage, but you can try. Some may say I’m too far gone to salvage, but I will try.

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