Joke (Version Two)
When my father died I was sad for a while but I thought that that would be that. I was an adult I had no reasonable expectations of meeting his presence in the future. One afternoon I was sitting in a shopping mall and I overheard someone telling a joke. It was a joke I remember my father telling and I associated it with him. I could not understand how someone could possess a piece of my father and unknowingly carry it around. I was jealous of this boy who owned a piece of my father while I was left with nothing. Then I realized that the joke is a mechanism whereby language wraps itself around a particular individual creating and defining this person. A highly condensed nodal point where webs of discourse meet to construct a subject. And so when I present this joke to you, I am not presenting a memory or impression of my father, I am, rather, literally presenting you with my actual father.
So there's this guy and this guy gets a new job one day and he starts you know, walking to work, he walks a new route to work one day he doesn't walk every day and every morning he passes this window that's facing the street and he sees inside the window that this woman is beating this little child over the head with a loaf of bread, just hitting him over the head with a loaf of bread. Every morning it's like the same you know he walks to work he passes then he sees it, it's the same constantly, day after day, month after month. Finally he's been working at this place and walking the same route every morning seeing this for about nine months he this every day and one morning he approaches the window because now it's common for him to pass the window and see this before he goes to work and he looks inside and instead of a loaf of bread the woman is hitting the little kid with a chocolate cake. Why? Why the change? Month after month, day after day it's been a loaf of bread. So he gets up to the window he starts knocking at the window like, "Excuse me. Excuse me, why is it today different? Why is it chocolate cake?" And the woman says, "Well, today's his birthday."