One letter, one broad concept, three words. J is for jester, joker and jongleur and I claim all three, although I conform only slightly to them (I am also not Batman’s nemesis). My biggest departure from the dictionary definitions is that I don’t do it in public, or for money.
I have a sense if humour that’s fairly British, but not entirely. It ranges from fuckwitted to intelligent and I blame all of my (too many) bad puns on my dog. I can improvise rhymes and lyrics at the drop of a hat. I’m an introvert, I can only be successfully social when I’m revved right up; I use humour as a smokescreen I throw on like a cloak (whoa double simile there) and afterwards I’m exhausted and ideally need solitude for rather a long time , to recharge and recover. The jester is deathly scared of almost everything and so out it comes, bells jingling, happy to look foolish as long as the laughter is not unkind. And it dances and capers as fast as it possibly can and talks and talks and talks and jokes and puns and pulls funny faces and sucks up all if the spotlights and limelights. Later, possibly after impulsiveness has dragged it all over the freaking place, the life and soul walks quietly home, indulging in those clichéd tears of clowns. I love and loathe the jester and all its jolly japes.
Being funny can get you liked and loved and laid. I do not add words like dry, sarcastic, gallows etc to my sense of humour. It just is what it is until it isn’t, and on the occasions when I’ve lost it, I feel desolate. Humour has been a damn fine and defensive crutch for me forever. It has caused people to call me crazy, odd, eccentric, mad, insane all if my life and I loved that – until I was psychotic, sick, sore, depressed, too revved. Then those labels just hurt like fuck and didn’t stop. Now I own the label bipolar and people assume it’s yet another way of saying she’s off her fucking trolley. The type of manic depressive celebs and artists that make the most sense to me are comedians, because when they do a show while manic, all I see is agony. Watch somebody go through the emotional motions of a small child – calm, happy, confident, revved, overwrought, tantrum, tears – that’s me, when mania or mixed episodes are around. You know when a kid gets to that inconsolable stage, where you cannot reach them at all? The one usually resolved either by go to your room or hop into bed and I’ll tell you a story? That. Not a choice and not fun either.
Thank goodness for the jester, the ability to make others laugh, to comfort or distract them, to raise spirits and make magic. Fuck the jester and the illusions and the loneliness. Balloons in two flavours, helium and lead.
Another word for jester is fool, and fools are always fools, but not always foolish.
Cirque du Soleil