Part of my daily routine is to go for walks alone whenever I have the time. I grab my iPhone, look up my favorite comedians on YouTube, shove my SkullCandy earbuds in ears, and am on my way. I walk up and down various neighborhoods looking at trees, flowers, houses, yards, parks and people. I love soaking in residential neighborhoods and feeling like I am part of a community.
This may sound like a healthy hobby but honestly this is when I become a escaped mental patient. This scenario seems to play out every time. I am walking down the street when I see stranger walking towards me. I have the stupidest grin on my face because Louis CK, Gabriel Iglesias, or Margaret Cho just said something completely inappropriate and I can't help but have a psychotic smile on my face.
I try to walk past strangers on the street with a neutral, "I promise I won't kill you" look but I end up smiling like Jack Nicholson as he says "Here's Johnny!", from "The Shining." I always hope in the deepest parts of my soul that they noticed that I have earbuds in. I think this might ease the awkward moment they are just about to have.
People generally smile back but I can see in their eyes that they are trying to decide if they should be walking on the other side of the street. I lower my head.
I try to stay composed. I try to walk past them as quickly as possible but inevitably it happens. It starts as a crazy smile. The comedian delivers the punch line, the crowd goes wild in laughter, I'm not far enough away from the stranger I just past, there is a rumble in my chest and I explode.
My laughter explodes out of me like water from a faucet turned on full blast. All the air rushes out of my lungs like a popped balloon and I can't breathe. I laugh so hard that sometimes I have to stop in the middle of the street to compose myself. The strangers walk faster to get away.
I want to call out, "I'm listening to comedy," but I know it's no use. They're scared.
So I recompose myself, ridiculous smile splayed over my face, just in time to see another stranger approaching.
"Keep it together" I say to myself, but I know, it's not going to happen.