What do you do when you are a crier?
What do you do when you have cried so many times with your old boyfriends? Demanding, and insisting. And explaining, oh yes, explaining over and over! In hopes for sympathy. And 700 sobs later, your eyes are dry, the lids are huge, the area underneath puffy and you know that your eyes will stay that way the next day. You’re exhausted. When I started working, there were many times that I came into work and my eyes were like that. It is almost like you can’t go out. So what do you do if you’re a crier?
When every movie that makes you feel passionately about a subject, which happens to be every movie you watch, makes you cry. When the emotion that fills your body wells up and falls out of your eyes.
What do you do when you’re a crier? You’re sitting in the movie theater watching Rocky 3 at age ten or so, next to your friend who is not crying at all. You really love Rocky, and you really want him to win. His struggle is your struggle, his troubles real. And tears are pouring down your face. At least, at the end of the movie, your best friend does not make fun of you. Although, and a familiar shame in coming years, as you leave you try your best to hide your red, salt-burnt cheeks from the other viewers. You clutch your snot-encrusted sleeve. This was supposed to be fun. This was supposed to be entertainment.
What do you do when you’re a crier? You look for hope in your Buddhist teacher, who says that for a year all she could do was cry at the world. But your Buddhist teacher worked in a blues bar and then became a writer. She writes books about meditation, and leads classes. She travels periodically, and lives in a building in your old city with artists, that is the envy of you, and several others. She did not have to go into a receptionist’s job where she was the first face the people would see. She did not have to face the office manager. Prior to that, neither did she have to go sell shoes with frog eyes and see that other manager with the red hair and a terrible yell.
Nowadays, you know if you go into work, with nosy secretaries, the nosy office manager, and a couple ruthless attorneys, your bulgy eyes aren’t going to look good. And you don’t want to paint make-up over the puff that is still there. You could try waking up at 6:00 a.m. in order to sit up so that the fluids will drain. You could try putting cucumbers on your eyes (you have tried to already). You could try, who knows what? A steak on the eye? But you only have a chicken for the cats, and some tofu. So you learn. And you cry a lot less. But then you start thinking in the car, and then you start talking to your phone, maybe recording something similar, something like this here. Time passes as you get worked up and you start telling tales of being a crier. And you start to cry. How can it be?
All you can do is share. To the criers, those who go too deep. To those who don’t look perfect, who waste their bodily reserves, who chafe at the blunt mundanity of every required day.