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my favorite laugh

"Well, I think it's haunted."

This, I said to Jeni, who was sitting across the pod of desks from me. We are in my classroom because the conference room is being painted.

"That light," I pointed up and behind me to the flickering light--which may have something to do with Assumption's claim on the power grid, or it may be a prop from Stranger Things. Nevertheless, it flickers.

"And that thing." I gestured to my rolling chart paper thingamajig. "Those locks on the wheels lock themselves."

Jeni is giving me the big eyes. This is a conversation with an audience of one. The other three people around us are having a conversation about the actual running of the school. I am, essentially, my own students at this point. Not paying attention. Distracting others. Although, to be fair, the flickering light started it.

"That thing...every day I unlock those little wheel locks."

She stoops a little in her seat to see what I'm pointing at.

"And every morning when I come back in, they are locked. Every now and then I think it's the kids....it's not. Every now and then I think it's the cleaning crew...it's not. It's because my room is haunted."

"Wow!" She mouths the word at me because our conversation is becoming the only conversation left. And we start to tune into the next subject at hand.

But I can't resist.
I sigh. "It's haunted my the ghost of my former self," I say to her and she starts laughing. Quietly, to herself.

"The one who used to be cheerful..."
I love a wisecrack.

"The one who wasn't filled with disappointment..."
I love to be just a titch overdramatic, especially when it's making someone laugh.

"...the one who used to believe in humanity..."

And then that was all I had--because then I had the hot laugh, the teary eyes, at my own overblown hyperbole.

And then? Well, life just went on.

Ah...that is my favorite laugh.

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