You are too intense, a woman told me once.

There are occasions when you can find yourself loving everything about the world around you with a sudden, startling intensity, a burst of emotion you might not fully even understand and only later realise what it was that oldest and simplest of three letter words. Joy.

I sometimes wonder whether all laughter is the same.

Is laughter evoked by tickling someone the same as a laughter evoked in the same person by telling a joke?

Does joy always have to be accompanied by laughter?

I think most of the laughter we indulge in after a certain age has a cause, a subject. Sarcasm, wit and puns in a conversation, for example. If you laugh loudly, someone could walk over and ask you assuming something funny happened and wanting to be a part of that too.

Would laughter by tickling be akin to an orgasm by masturbation though the two may sound totally incompatible considering only you can masturbate for yourself but you can’t tickle yourself to laughter. I wonder. Are both real in the sense of the word? Do they arise from deep inside, sometimes the way a stray thought from deep inside can get your cock to harden at the most inopportune moment the same way a thought can cause you to chuckle and your eyes twinkle out of the blue. But you do not feel the urge to jerk off at such a thought, do you? It’s either indulge in the most natural sex that cant be any other way or wait it out.

But that intense joy – it’s a much rarer emotion – it generally happens to me in travel.

It can be summed up as ‘being loved’. Not being in love, not loving. Plain being loved. Like the land seems dressed up for you. The people are singing with abandon on the road while a crowd gathers to watch them or the church band is playing vivaldi’s 4 seasons and a woman is playing fabulous violin. And all seems to be happening for you.

The flower. The sun. The clouds. Sometimes that stubborn oak tree and the irreverent river. The light shining at a perfect angle out of the old stain glass window of a 100 year old castle. The perfect froth forming over a glass of ice cold beer while you sit and watch the world go by in a busy mall. Everything seems to be playing its part to perfection to welcome your presence.

There’s no discordant chord. There’s no pursuit or hiding or chasing or desiring. No deception unless it is a part of the act. The people around suddenly seem friendly and approachable and you grin at them and they grin at you and if a kid comes by you wave and she waves back and a very simple scene appears which you see in totally a new light and find that urge to click it record it frame it somehow – not the flower but that moment, that experience, that eye.

How do you trap this intensity?

How do you make it your slave to summon it at will?

When someone can see you grinning just that little bit and ask why?

And the only answer you can come up with is just a shrug.