by Sine Qua Non

It used to be that we had one answer to the question. And we knew how to say it, complete with just about the right movement of the muscles of our faces that matched the tone that we used. It used to be a joke.We got it all figured out, we thought. We thought too soon.

It started with another joke. The kind men like you didn’t like precisely because it questioned your manhood. And out of defensive machismo you hurled one at me. Something about a man downsizing another man and then inviting that downsized man’s woman into his own apartment.  It was supposed to mean something else, right? We t liked being vague. Truth was too much for our pride.

Now, I revisit the banter. I do not hear you but I see you laugh. It’s actually supposed to be really funny and there is an urge for laughter but now it just wouldn’t come. It retreats. Suddenly, it disappears. Suddenly, because it used to be funny and now it just lost the reason for being funny because of the changes in the contexts by which it became funny, it’s not funny anymore.

Was it actually funny at all? How am I supposed to laugh now?

Maybe one day, when we’ve regained the capacity to share laughter, you can remind me.

It is still a joke. We predicted pain, you see. We didn’t hesitate at letting the universe hear it. We said it with disgusting defiance of prophecies. Like we knew what we were talking about. Now, someone did get hurt. What’s your prediction? Pain? It’s a joke, but it has stopped making someone laugh.

It’s so funny, it hurts.