“hey sorry i haven’t returned your texts. i’ve been in a really bad place recently (denver).” — @kassoysauce
I saw my baby sister crawl across the white kitchen tile in her diaper and take a drink from the dog’s bowl.
It was the first joke Mal ever told.
Now, even her Twitter name is always my favorite joke on the internet: “Paul Blart Mal Cop.” “Mal Gore.” “Father Time.”
One year, she and I were the only ones left in the city. It was zero degrees, nothing was open, the train never came — and then, the best idea she’s ever had: A Christmas Lyft to IHOP, our magic sleigh to Grinch-themed pancakes drenched in warm maple syrup.
We spent that New Year’s getting high and having Thai from our favorite place, Klom Klorm. I spent the next New Year’s clubbing with friends, missing her and our Miley Cyrus parody:
“It’s the Kloooorm.”
“It must have been hard watching your father bury his baby sister,” my mom said after my aunt’s funeral, like she knew I imagine Mal crushed by the relentless gravity of sadness and imagine how hard it must be to make a snow angel under a white avalanche of covers — to write a joke when you can’t get out of bed.
These days I have this dream where I’m alone on the kitchen floor. I eat pad see ew and laugh and laugh and weep and laugh and laugh and laugh.
Ben Kassoy is a writer, poet, and strawberry spinning like a dreidel. His new chapbook, THE FUNNY THING ABOUT A PANIC ATTACK, is available now. Ben also writes a Substack about creativity, social change, and miscellaneous delights.