Monday, December 21, 2020

It's amazing how helpful memes can be. I've had plenty of nights this year when I'm lying in bed super late and just laughing my ass off from them. And I mean like the genuinely cracking up, laugh-so-hard-you-can't-breath laughing. The deep type where clutching your stomach to hold on for dear life is the only thing you can do. It's like you're completely free for a moment and filled with this intense joy. Holy shit, what a good time. The feeling has been on mind a lot the past few months. With it, my mind keeps going back to this early memory from high school. It must've been during my sophomore year, but I'm standing with a group of friends in front of the Flushing Main Street Public Library (which was pretty new at the time). I think we had all just eaten together somewhere nearby in Main Street and probably hung out at some cafe for a bit, and we were there to wait for the Q17 so one of my friends could take it. I only remember my friend Natalia being there, because out of all of us, she was laughing the hardest. I don't remember what we were talking about or why, but I was trying to be funny and had everyone doubled over, and that in turn made me laugh harder. We had all started laughing back while eating, and by the time we were at the bus stop, we were laughing so hard that we could barely stand. The sound of Natalia laughing especially made me happy, and this epiphany that someone could think I was funny while being myself, well, I still remember that. Knowing I was gay at that age and desperately not trying to stick out had me normally holding back a lot of who I was. And it was only while immersed in this circle (all-girls, and I am still friends with) did I feel allowed to be silly, therefore feel seen. Don't get me wrong, I grew up with two older sisters and usually had them laughing a lot about dumb shit too. But this was different, because I was still getting to know these friends, and usually stayed quiet as a form of avoiding rejection. It's funny how laughter can bring back the weirdest memories.

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