Prompt: Everyone was laughing, except you.
I hate that feeling. That horrible, sick curling feeling the bottom layer of your stomach. That feeling you get when your cheeks turn from their normal ivory to that deep, embarrassed red. The kind of red that turns certain spots of your face splotchy and even makes your ears go red. Your fists shake, finger nails biting into palms to keep yourself calm, to keep yourself from lashing out. It’s that feeling where you know that you’re the butt of the joke. The punchline. The effervescent hilarity, that laughter that surrounds you is because of you. And no, they aren’t laughing with you. Rather, they are laughing at you.
It’s a more frequent occurrence that not to be the of the joke for me. I’m somewhat funny, but the jokes that she keeps throwing around are distinctly un-funny. They are hurtful and while everyone else laughs at my expense, I sit there with a tense smile on my face. They are drunk and I am not. This shouldn’t be an excuse, but my brain is desperate to keep a tight leash on my ever dying control. I am normally the butt of one joke or another. The reasoning behind the jokes are simply my own features.
I’m a klutz.
I’m blonde (and therefore less intelligent than everyone else in the room).
I’m kind of a sexual deviant.
I don’t drink much, if at all.
I have an obsession with books and literature.
I’m somewhat messy.
I have a real problem with anger and holding grudges (especially against ex boyfriend).
I’m a serious band geek.
While I believe all these traits to be normal, admirable, or simply who I am, others are not so kind. One of my roommates, the bully of the group, continues to make blonde jokes, a few of our friends chiming in. The jokes turn into sexual based ones and then she lashes out at my problems with my ex boyfriend. I sit there and just breathe, holding on tightly to my control. It is a losing battle. If I don’t do something soon, I am guaranteed to blow up at some one in this room. There is a part of me that would like nothing better than to do just that, now is not the time or place. If I am to exact any form of retaliation, revenge, or similar ideas, I’d prefer my house to be completely sober before I do anything malicious.
Instead of screaming and calling them every nasty name I can think of, I stand up and tell everyone I’m going for a walk. I’m desperately in some fresh air. One of my roommates, whom has just appeared from her own room, agrees to accompany me. With a casual wave, I go to stand outside. It’s cold, biting cold. I’m glad to be wearing my winter coat and boots. Tugging the hair tie from my wrist, I wrap my blonde hair into a bun, keeping the strands out of my eyes. the cold does little to calm me down, but it does seem to make my anger settle into a stasis. When my one roommate joins me, I hear fleeting jokes at my expense through the doorway.
“What the fuck is that girl’s problem? Just cause she’s a blonde nympho doesn’t mean she has to be a bitch too!”
“She’s just a drama queen. She’s probably doesn’t have enough brain cells underneath all that hair to really be too angry.”
“She just needs to get laid!”
The laughter is raucous and it hits me like a knife. My roommate with the red hair joins me and she hands me a pack of TNT poppers. These are my own brand of anger management. We walk a ways around the parking lot until we are far enough away from my building to yell. I swear like a sailor and start my war path. She listens and we throw poppers on the ground intermittently. The fire and the smoke blaze up and put themselves out in an instant. It’s a release of some form. I complain for the better part of an hour while my roommate listens and comments. I’m not sure how many loops we’ve made around the building adn the parking lots near by, but it’s approaching one in the morning when we return. The apartment seems quieter and I am feeling better.
Walking in, I hear the muted sounds of alcoholic puking. I smile.
I wonder who has the last laugh now?