On my humor & her laughter

My sort of humor has never appealed to her. Each time I practiced my wit, she would respond with a pair of raised brows and a stifled laugh. I was either strange or poetic, but never humorous. Then she would swiftly turn away, as if she had no words left for me. And I, with a deflated confidence, would lose my wit and retreat into remedial reticence.

But I never did give up – what passion of the heart languishes so easily? An opportunity would sometime later surface and I, having regained my form, would try again to coax out a laugh from her complex, perplexing self. Alas, she does not see where the humor lies. I proceed to inform her that I was being jocose. But by then, the humor has lost its form. She laughs out of politeness: “You’re so strange.”

Still later, I would visit her again; sauntering softly into a space beside her. She greeted me merrily – it was in her nature: merriment. “Have you tried this? It tastes weird,” she complained to me. I took a sip of it. “Tastes like a drop of dew sliding off a leaf.” I did not mean it of course. I have always thought there could be found some humor in being deliberately, unnecessarily, extravagantly poetic. “You’re so poetic.” And her laugh is strangulated; more puzzled than hearty.

I remember once where this dissonance in humor had come close to being reconciled. After having flung my mace again and again and meeting nothing but her confused questions, we both relented and laughed at the unevenness of our characters. She said that my jokes were bad. I said that her receiving was poor. We wagered on whether I could make those strangers on the neighboring table laugh. It remained a plan of the imagination. But we were both laughing, and that seemed all to matter.

How I wish that episode had gained some form of enduring mortality; such that our future conversations, whenever the jokes aged and dulled, would always be allowed to rest on a lighthearted reminiscence. But alas, it had vanished so very quickly.


The moment one wills to be humorous is the moment one stops being humorous. Just as beautiful art must come naturally, so also must good humor. Humor is an intuition; and as with all intuitions, it is best represented by an immediate transcription, such that it follows as closely as it can the form in which it took when it struck one in the mind. If one were to delay this process and peruse the words to be employed, tweaking and polishing them, the essence would be diluted and the humor lost. One does not realize that by replacing the words that first came to mind; words which instinct procured to represent the intuition, the humorous twist, the witty addition; one is in fact replacing them with parts that do not fit the whole. And as a result, what is produced is not the essence of humor, but a clumsy construction of the callous intellect.