Author's Note

"The Jester came to help me in my time of need,
and my hope is that, if you let him,
he will come alive within these pages and help you too.

One day during the summer, I walked into the classroom in a very good mood. I was very happy, whistling as I walked. When I arrived into class, I made a silly joke. And nobody laughed. Everybody else was in a horrible mood, caught up in their own lives, their own work, their own problems.

Now I knew that the joke was not very funny, but nobody even smiled or said hello. They just kept to themselves and looked down at the table. My good mood soon became one of depression, rejection and disappointment. I decided to sit silently like the others, thinking to myself how quickly moods change.

I started drawing and, as usual, did not know what I was creating, letting my hand create on its own accord. It turned out to be a very sad-looking face, humped over, trying hard to carry its own weight. I randomly added triangles to his head and, after staring at what I had just made, realized that it looked like a little jester. I added the words next to it: "The jester has lost his jingle."

And thus, the Jester was born.

It is rare for a character of your own creation to come to your aid. Yet, my Jester did just that. During the fall of my senior year at Yale, I was diagnosed as having Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system. Upon hearing the news, I went out to a patch of lawn, sat by a tree, and cried.

As I sat there crying, I listened to my sobs, thinking how much they sounded like my laughs. And suddenly, one of the lines I had written during the previous summer popped into my head: "Here I lie, I have a tumor. . .And you ask me where's my sense of humor?" And that was when my Jester came to me. He literally walked over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and with a concerned look said, "David, how come you're not laughing? Your cries sound just like laughs, so why not laugh instead of cry?" I thought about it for a second and then repeated the question to myself: "How come I'm not laughing?"

So I got up from the pile of dead leaves that surrounded me, wiped my face dry of its tears, and walked off laughing at how silly and scary and wonderful this world of ours is.

He came to help me in my time of need, and my hope is that, if you let him, he will come alive within these pages and help you too.©

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