Life lurks around the corner from furtive first wails to parting salutes. Life is a mischievous punch line. A crude map with vague instructions, impossible to predict,  quick to slap if we aren’t paying attention.

Language, education, interaction, morals – steer and correct, live and learn, digest and observe. Puberty, but a memory, our adult journey begins. Life takes no prisoners – sobering smacks deliver life lessons. Correct, make amends, lock course and set sail. Career, family, goals – life laughs as we stumble along the path. Just when we start to feel comfortable, life slaps us with a sobering lesson.

Life has one sick sense of humor. It relishes our foibles, ears prick at the slightest hint of frailty or doubt. Stumbles are welcomed, it gives life something to entertain itself with. Tragedy, failed marriage, financial fluctuations – all grist for the life mill. We formulate generalized notions of life at 30, 40, 50. Marketers sell us cream, lotions, hair dye – all aimed at maintaining that youthful package. Though none of us admit it, on some level we all know the day will come when skin sags and hair sprouts in places we don’t want, by all accounts snatched from places we do. Piss off life. We’re happy, well adjusted and in control.

Life has a few cards up her sleeve – tricks nobody talks about, hysterical last laughs waiting for precisely the right time to shatter foundations to the very core. Life wets its pants, disappears behind waves of mirth, begs us to stifle horror in consideration of propriety at the moment we discover a gray pubic hair.

Horrific, unexpected, beyond the realm of possibility. The moment life waits for. A knee slapping joke that never grows old. Gray pubic hair, haha life – you’re so funny.