Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Thin Black Line

There's humor in pathos, you know. Most great comedy is built upon truth, anger and tragedy. Thus, as a comedian, I want to, need to, continue that grand tradition. It's in my bones.

But somehow, when people ask me how I am, I can't bring myself to answer truthfully. It's not funny to say, "Well, my brothers are dead, my sister has cancer and my poor mother.... But otherwise, everything's great! How are you?"

What do you say in situations like this? Is there some etiquette book out there that would guide me? Can I keep the seething resentment out of my tone, the sorrow from my eyes? Can I make it funny, somehow? Put people at ease?

I don't really want them to go all mushy on me, yet some people do have to be informed of these things.

DIP has made some humorous comments about being a hapless, hopeful man trying to woo a woman who's dealing with a grave illness in her family. We've laughed. But he's a rare bird who gets that we're not laughing because it's funny. We're laughing because it's tragic, it's one of the truths of life and it makes us damn mad. In essence, it's pure comedy. We make fun to strip it of its ghastly power.

I haven't seen her since the diagnosis -- haven't touched her, smelled her, hugged her, kissed her.

We haven't laughed together because we haven't cried together.

We're straddling the Thin Black Line.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Renee' said...

Well Ann, I thought it was Hi time....so HI. LOL

I read back through your posts over the last months and whew! You are stuffing a lot of living in a short time.

We all straddle that line you are referring to. Pity the ones who don't.

As for your struggle with illness and death. I always think of the Garth Brooks song: The Dance

LYRICS:
Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance

You have the dance Ann, no one can take that away.

Renee'

PS. I will try to be my humorous self next time LOL

April 04, 2008 3:36 AM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

*stomp, hop, flap, shuffle, shuffle, hop, flap, ball change!*

April 04, 2008 9:05 AM  
Blogger Laura Deerfield said...

Just want to let you know my heart goes out to you - I went though a similar hard time a couple of years ago. Dad was on life support, parents almost lost house, then mom was hospitalized and died of breast cancer, landlord sold house to developers and gave us a month to move, found out guy I was seeing lied about being divorced, then I got laid off... yeah...wow, only just recently feeling like I can relax and catch my breath.

But I do remember, while my mom was in the hospital, how much laughter there was, and how natural it felt.

April 04, 2008 3:31 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Hi Laura! Thanks so much for your kind words. You are now an inspiration to me for more than your visual storytelling posts! Good God, girl -- you made it through. I'm toddling along right behind ya!

April 05, 2008 5:48 AM  

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