Friday, 17 October 2008, 22:29 | Category : Life
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Laughter is an interesting thing. Some laughs bring a smile to your face when you hear them. Others are like nails grating on a chalkboard. Typically, I find that when I’m in a good mood, virtually every laugh can bring a smile to my face as well. Tonight when I was at Barnes & Noble, I felt rather melancholy. Laughter wasn’t on my list.

And then I hear laughter. And not just laughter. Side-splitting, roll on the ground, type laughing. Coming from a guy you wouldn’t expect to see at Barnes & Noble on a Friday night. In his dusty and torn formerly khaki coveralls, mud-caked workboots and worn t-shirt, you’d think he’d be more at home in front of the game with a beer than at the bookstore. But there he stood, holding his cell phone with his calloused fingers, laughing. The man was laughing so hard that, for a second, I thought he might have been crying. Then he said “Thanks, dear. I’ll be home soon.” He snapped his phone closed, and chuckled a little to himself while he perused the bargain table, heading toward the checkout.

When I first heard him laughing, my first thought was “What the hell could be so damn funny?” After catching a gimpse of him from the corner of my eye, I felt myself start to melt. By the time he concluded the call, I was feeling hopeful that there could be more humor in my night, and in my life. I don’t have to be such a cold-hearted curmudgeon.

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