BELIEVE IT or not, in my younger days I was considered to be quite amusing. Hysterical, in fact. My sense of humor was my number one trait, eventually leading me to writing a recurring humor column for a respectable metropolitan newspaper. I was required to be funny every week, and I always managed to come up with something. Looking back at that time, it seems miraculous that everyday life actually offered up so many funny situations.
Not anymore. These days I could write a daily misery column and never run out of topics. Recent chaotic events, like the mass murders in Las Vegas, are easy targets, no pun intended.
As for me personally, my recent heart attack and hospital stay were certainly no laugh fest, although I could definitely do a riff on my cranky roommate and her extended family, the whole lot of them holding a bedside vigil from morning ’til night. With just a thin curtain separating our beds, I heard far more than I needed or wanted to, including recipes for moonshine and a constant barrage of distasteful, moronic jokes.
So, what’s a writer to do?
Plumbing the depths of despair visible on all fronts, a bright nugget of goodness shines. Just about two weeks ago my husband and I went off on a three-day holiday to Monhegan Island, that tiny paradise located 12 nautical miles off Maine’s coast. As we waited to board the ferry, a chill wind brought in with dense fog causing me to zip up my fleece vest and pull down my woolen cap, I noticed a fellow passenger who was dressed for a summer day in sandals, a thin sleeveless blouse and a pair of cotton capri pants. Impulsively I approached her and asked, “Aren’t you cold?” In retrospect that was a stupid question since of course she wasn’t, but it started a lively conversation that lasted for the next hour and a half, with both of us feeling as if we had known each other in a past life. Our husbands joined in and the four of us clicked like old friends, exchanging life stories as we made our way to Monhegan.
Over the course of that weekend Mitch and I saw Teresa and Jim a few more times, and by Sunday afternoon when we had to leave, it was painful to let them go. So we didn’t. Now we look forward to visiting them next month in Charlottesville, Virginia. Despite the old saw that it’s hard to make new friends once you’re past 30, clearly we had done it, leading me to conclude that despite the craziness running rampant in the world today, magic still happens.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.