Overdue

He laughed aloud.

It wasn’t for anybody else’s benefit – he had just heard some good news, and really didn’t give it a second thought as he chuckled to himself. It was an ebullient, gleeful laugh – one that fills up your lungs and without realizing it, you’ve got a smile on your face. Laughter like that, not to evoke the sentiments of some cheezy coffee-table book author, are good for your soul.

I heard him laugh through the wall – they’re actually quite thin here – and wondered to myself what the news was. Did he get the job he was wanting? Did he hear from his wife? Did his daily lottery ticket hit the $500 prize? A laugh that authentic, that pristine, indicates that his happiness is pure, unblemished, and that for one fleeting second – regardless of what happens later in the day – he was happy.

I found myself jealous. Those moments where your laughter is contageous, where you feel your inside rise up with the fluttery feeling that is true giddiness, doesn’t happen that often, not just to me, but to any of us. Those are the days when you find yourself walking on air – when there’s a silly little perma-grin on your face and even waiting in the loooonnnnnggggg line at Chick-Fil-A for your fave ice dream (hugely oversized in a cup o’ ice dreaminess) doesn’t even phase you. It’s like walking around in dreamland where all is right in the world – where the guy calls when he says he will, when your jeans come out of the dryer a size too BIG(!!), when your dog sleeps through the night and you arrive at work with a vase of tulips waiting for you on your desk. If you were a Disney character, you’d have the oversized-Cinderella eyes and the birds would be chirping on your shoulder.

Yeah. That type of day.

I don’t really remember the last time I had that kind of day, but it wasn’t until I heard the laughter – the loose, trilling laugh of the man next door – that I realized how long it had been.

I need that laughter, that day. I’m long overdue.

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