I used to hate being seen as funny, because I would get all paranoid about whether people liked my humour or my me. My ditziness or deprecating comments were a mask for what was most probably general angst but which felt tremendously important at the time. As I've grown, I feel that I've become more content, and although I am obviously not happy 100% of the time, I feel like my smiley persona is less of a persona than it used to be. Once, somebody told me that they could never tell when I was upset because I always smiled. Then I went through a period of being irritatingly melancholy. I think I've found a good medium where I can vent my unhappy moments and be able to smile afterwards. There's only one problem.
I think I've lost my funniness.
I do still make people laugh and smile and I like that. When I'm in a particularly sarcastic mood, I can be pretty witty. But I really am beginning to worry that soon I won't have any humour left. God, I realise how ridiculous that sounds now but I made a resolution to write at least a page of fiction every day and started yesterday; I was shocked to discover how terribly, horrendously angsty I sounded! Today I wrote a couple of short pieces inspired by rainbows. The first was just generally trying to be intelligently symbolic and metaphorical. Hmmm. So I decided that the second would be a little lighter. It turned into a piece of micro-fiction about a messed up little girl with a screwed up family background who ends up running away. I have decided to share it, because as they say, it is essential to be able to endure humiliation if you want to be funny. I'm OK with that:
I had a best friend, and sometimes she liked to pretend that her name was Rainbow. Sometimes it was Princess Luna India Rainbow, or Dr Rainbow Bowman, or Sparkle the Rainbow-Catcher. But mainly she just liked to be called Rainbow. On our first day at school, my Mum tied my hair back and made me wear my brand-new navy blue boots. I hated them; I’d wanted to buy the pink satin pair which would have made me look like a ballerina. A very scruffy ballerina, my Mum said. Of course, my friend was wearing her shiny red shoes which she told me her Daddy bought from Dorothy Gale. I believed her, but later my Mum told me that Sophie’s Daddy had been living in
When I went back and told all this to Queen Rainbow the Great, her purple mascara began to run and she said that Hawaii was very beautiful and when she was older she would be Queen Rainbow the Great of Hawaii. She told me that Son of a Bitch was what they called the Kings in
Once, when my goldfish died, The Rainbow Detective told me that the Evil Witch who pretended to be a dinner lady at our school must have poisoned her, because she’d poisoned her Mummy too. I couldn’t sleep at night for three days, and then my Mum promised me that Sophie’s Mummy just had a little accident and that evil witches didn’t exist. Barbara was actually a very nice lady. The next day at school, Runaway Rainbow said not to believe her and that Adults are just very good at lying. She’d formed a plan of action: I’d bring in the new bicycle I got for my birthday (for her), and the old one in the shed (for me). Then we’d run away at lunchtime, before the Evil Witch tried to poison us too. In the meantime, we’d have to be very careful not to drink any orange juice.
I didn’t bring in the bicycles. Miss Rainbow Star was very angry and said that I’d broken the rules. She didn’t speak to me for a week, apart from once, before she ran away. The last time I saw her, Blue Bird Rainbow said to me that I was her very best friend ever. She gave me a friendship bracelet made out of daisies and said that she was going to find the Land of Oz, like the song that Judy Garland sings in the movie.
I still can’t see a rainbow without the black mascara running down my made-up face.