She wears a contingent smile on her face, one I knew would fade away if I happened to say just the wrong thing. So I said nothing, letting the laughter slide in to an emptiness. Her eyes turn back to glare at the TV, I could tell she wasn't really engaged but rather just passing the time.
I could never understand why she would keep the TV on as 'background noise'. Her eyes remove its position as if she could hear my thoughts -my thoughts which were judging her, criticizing her. She stops for a moment to surf through the various updates her phone had given her. A few text messages, some unread emails and facebook notifications. She slides through them rubbing her fingers back and fourth against the buttonless device. She glances up again, this time she laughs at a strangers voice on the other side of the screen. Other side, inside, far away but yet closer then I could be. He told a joke that she herself would tell and she was satisfied with his delivery. It was as if she herself wrote the joke as she laughs before his sentence was finished. 'Its so true' she says nodding in agreement. She turned her attention back to her device realizing that was probably the the last joke of the half hour show. Knowing because as he said 'coming up is (so and so) from (so and so), some elected official would would most likely bore her to tears or make an off-hand joke that would comprimise his job. 'Welcome' he said as she turns to another channel. She flips through music videos and cartoons, all while waiting for someone to comment on her status. She turns until she reaches a Sitcom which would again make her laugh. Somewhere in her subconscious longs for a laugh, a moment of glee -of happiness. She laughs at the scripted humor, she laughs along with its laugh tracks. At times she laughs longer and harder then she knows the joke deserves and at times I turn to laugh with her.