Crying is for babies,
And third graders, when their classmates are doing something
And they realize the consequence for that is also
People can cry at weddings,
But if they don’t want to, or can’t,
It’s minorly inconvenient, but it’s okay.
Crying isn’t something
Grown-ass adults do,
Whenever the mood strikes them,
Which, lately, appears to be almost always.
Before – before what? – I guess
I kind of wore my tearless bravado
Like a badge of honor
(“I haven’t cried since like, last Christmas!”),
Visible only to myself.
It’s not normal to go for months at a time
Without shedding a tear, but it is
And I mean, is the trade-off any better,
Sobbing at a character in a movie
Who reminds you of your sick mother
Who still acts like your non-sick mother did
And who won’t let you have the compassionate closure
And learned lesson sharing that
The characters in the movie get to have.
At least when your emotions are stunted,
Stilted, shut down and shut up,
You don’t have to go through the
Of feeling the loathfully familiar
Tightness in your throat
That you try to swallow around
Without it sounding too wet
While your wife sits next to you in the theatre
And politely pretends not to notice;
Or worse, reaches over and
Holds your hand through the worst of it,
Like you deserve closure and compassion,
Like these suddenly open floodgates
Are a positive thing,
A Pandora’s Box of
Minor (nay, major) inconvenience,
Like there’s something to be gained
Besides blotchy skin and paranoia
That maybe somebody could hear you crying after all
Like four rows back during that one scene.
Crying is a consequence of
Finally being fitted with
The correct combination of
Pills and pharmaceutical know-how.
Rationally, you know that
Shoving down emotions and pretending
That everything is okay isn’t okay.
Still, it’s easier than waiting
For your body and mind to clear out
All the excess baggage they’ve
Like a hoarder’s house
That houses only remnants of bad memories
And feelings and moments of rejection
And frustration and loss
That someone finally looked at with a
Critical, compassionate eye and decided
That the minor inconvenience
Was worth taking the time to
Sort through and eradicate the mess.
Crying is still somewhat
Like having to take the time to
Convince your psychiatrist
That you prefer these antidepressants,
That you expected sex and feelings and
A will to live to
Be on the table again
Instead of under it,
Tucked away in boxes you keep meaning to unpack,
But can’t muster up the energy to do it.
Crying puts all of the other consequences
Of new mood medication
Like how you are moving towards something worth
And also how it’s majorly inconvenient
To stick with a psychiatrist
Whose clinical, compassionless criticism
Leaves you little room to breathe
After shedding a few tears.
(‘Bye, Dr. Klegan!)
Don’t cry for me, Argentina;
The truth is that crying has
Kept its distance long enough,
And I’m ready to let the tears fall freely,
Albeit minorly inconveniently,
Until Pandora’s Box no longer feels like
A stronghold strongarming my emotions into submission,
But a safe space to retreat when I’m finally spent.