Laughter: Bridging Distances

Laura - Union, Kentucky
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Laughter: Bridging Distances

I can still recall the words seared into my mind when my parents told me we were moving. Growing up in Kirkland, Quebec for thirteen years, I had made many friends but I had formed an everlasting bond with only one, that of my best friend Alyssa. We had known each other since kindergarten. Spending every waking moment together, some may have said we were joined at the hip. We had shared many secrets, played many games, and spent countless hours together. We fought, we cried, but the thing that sticks out most in my mind is the laughter we shared. My life was about to change whether I wanted it to or not, and little did I know I was about to discover how laughter could bridge the distance between my best friend, Alyssa and me.

Through letters, e-mails, and phone calls we stayed in close contact for the first two and half years. We swapped many stories and had plenty of good laughs at each other’s expense. The laughter that we shared brought us together and for a while there seemed to be no distance between us. Although we shared many memories, by the end of my sophomore year Alyssa had become infatuated with her first serious boyfriend; she and Greg spent every moment they could together. When I would return home, our usual laughter was replaced with awkward silence. We felt like there was nothing there to connect us anymore, and we had been forced to live separate lives. It was no longer the two of us, it was the two of them and I had become the third wheel.

Even still, in this time of silence, I would still reminisce about the times we had and laugh to myself. One memory that separates itself from the others took place when we were seven years old. We snuck into her basement to grab one of our favorite treats, a popsicle. As we came to the large freezer, the dilemma arose that Alyssa was too short to reach the popsicles at the bottom. Being stubborn, she had to seize the popsicles, so I gave her a slight boost. Not knowing my own strength I flipped her into the freezer and the door shut on top of her. I automatically bent over laughing, gasping for air, as she screamed in horror. She couldn’t open the door from the inside, and hollered my name in panic. I finally opened the door and she scrambled out. Upset at first, she yelled at me for waiting so long but eventually, she came to realize the humor in the situation. To this day, we still recollect this story as though it were just yesterday, and continue to laugh at her expense.

At times our laughter would get slightly out of hand, laughing at the smallest of occurrences. Sometimes it would hit us in bursts lasting only a few moments. Other times we would be rolling around on the floor gasping for breath and holding our sides. Most of the time we would laugh so hard tears would roll down our rosy cheeks, as we would run to the bathroom afraid we would pee our pants. One such time being when Alyssa had developed a laugh similar to the sound of which a walrus makes, due to a nasal congestion. She had thought up another one of her “pops,” while we were in the food court at the mall and could not stop laughing; with her sounding like a walrus, her laugh became contagious. Alyssa invented the “pop” one day in elementary school. As she randomly started laughing in class, I asked her what was so funny, she replied, “I just had a pop, I thought about you falling out of your chair,” and she commenced to laugh uncontrollably as I sat there with an expression of confusion upon my face. Ever since then a “pop” has been associated with random thoughts followed by fits of laughter. Because of this wonderful invention, we have laughed many times throughout our relationship, mostly at random events that never even took place.

It was through our laughter that we were able to fight through the void of silence and become the best of friends again. By sharing our stories we were able to find the humor in just about anything, no matter how bad the situation. Now that we were back to our old shenanigans, Alyssa and I created new memories through text messaging and facebook. Her ever re-occurring “pops” continue to bring a smile to my face. At times, I will find myself stifling my laughter as I read a “pop” over text message, during an ever-confusing chemistry class. It is during these moments that I really adore the friendship we share.

Laughter brought us together and helped us become inseparable, going all the way back to kindergarten. It has also allowed us to find our way back together after a long silence. It has sealed our bond to one another, a bond that we will never be able to break. It is special, secret to only us, and only we can understand what we have. We understand each other better than ever now and when I return home, what we have becomes even more special. While I have made many new friends, few will ever be as close as the two of us. It is through laughter, that friendships are made, bonds are formed and memories live on. I believe that this laughter is the essence of our friendship and without it our relationship would be incomplete.