Get a record of just laughing
There are parts of my grandfather’s memory he kept shuttered, whole wings left to be demolished by neglect. The bits we know are the not-so-bads. His leather boots nailed to a board, a punishment for carelessness. His socked feet chapped by snow. The view from a hotel window in Prague, waiting to see if the Gestapo would return. His parents’ failed suicide pact. He laughed a lot in the telling, a laugh that buffered us from the words, prevented us from attaching meaning to them, from seeing him as that little boy at the table, waiting to see if his mother and father would come home.
Marginalia in his eight-volume set of The Law of Success. “Get a record of just laughing.” The author, Napoleon Hill, had not encountered any melancholic successes. Even a forced laugh was better than no laugh. Sadness was tangible, an off-putting smell that could cling to a man. Gloom was an old country problem with a new, low-price American solution—a phonograph record of a woman’s sustained merriment.
My grandfather, predicting a scarcity, had added it to his to-do list.
(written by Claire Tacon, read by Chioke I'Anson)
That rad music you hear at the end is by Tigerrosa. Buy their debut album here
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