The other night the husband and I found ourselves in Moab, Utha, on a barge on the river at dusk, with a boatload of tourists, primarily from Europe.   As night fell,  the chatter ceased, and the show began.  A recording listed the creation myths from all over the world, as great shafts of light were cast on the magnificent towering cliffs.  Shadows awoke.  Bats, too. The river murmured of movement and range.  The Ute stirred from the deep.   There we were, gnawing at the hems of the gods.  It is only in the dark the stars blink, link to link.   All the universe was dark, beautiful, mysterious. 

And suddenly, in the midst of this strange and extraordinary production, patriotic music began to play, patriotic music of the Broadway musical variety.  This transition was so deeply and unintentionally funny, so unintentionally vainglorious, we glanced at one another in the dark, and began laughing.  I mean, the kind of laughing that can not stop.  The kind of laughter that, because it is rude, and entirely uncalled for, and entirely beyond control, is all the more delicious.   Because we did not mean to offend, we did our best to suppress our wickedness, but it possessed us, held us in its thrall as rapturously as the very cliffs and stars and legends had just moments before.   No sooner would I gain control of myself, when the husband would lower his head, cover his face, and choke back laughter, and there it began all over again.   The French couple sitting behind us might have assumed we were deeply moved.  I daresay this went on for forty-five minutes.  We were grateful for the dark, and for the unbearable loudness of the music.

Afterwards, in the car, tears still rolling down our cheeks, I turned to the old man and said, my gawd, during that entire fit of laughter, I did not experience any pain -- first time in months.

I settled comfortably back into my little maladies.

Popular posts from this blog