‘I’m going to die laughing.’
Some of you may say – Bravo! That’s the spirit!
But that’s not the intention of my statement.
My laughter will literally be the end of me. It’s going to get me killed.
Usually quiet and sullen, I only laugh when I’m disturbed and anxious.
Nervous laughter has been my paramour, and the more I try to hide it, the more aggressive it gets.
I remember the first time I encountered this bizarre phenomenon. I was a four-year-old nose picker with no friends. Who wanted to be exposed to the findings of my nose?
Geena, a red-headed teacher’s pet, skidded in the playground, breaking her nose and three front teeth. Blood stained her chin and the ruffles on her dress. All the children cried, I stood and laughed, my finger lodged in my nose.
The laughs were more like barks, bubbling from the meat of my gut. The more I held them down, the more defiant they got. My teacher sent me home, a note pinned to my collar – This boy needs to be taught some manners.
How thoughtless of her.
Now I fear my mannerless shenanigans are towing the goddam line.
I’m on the floor, my wrists and ankles bound together. They should’ve taped my mouth too. But the masked bandits need facts and numbers.
A bank teller for twenty years now, I have access to the bank’s secrets. Not much of a glorious achievement.
The giggles are getting worse and louder. An uncontrollable bout every thirty seconds.
I’m warned, but it’s above and beyond me.
One of them points a gun at me. A clear shot to my forehead. I laugh even harder; tears blotch my cheeks.
There’s a grotesque click. The gun’s trigger.
My eyes close. My mouth opens wider.
He’s been in his chair for too long. It’s time to stand up and move on. On My Way To Disneyland is a story of hope over fear.