There was a long period of time where I didn’t cry. I didn’t see the point. They say there’s no point in crying over spilled milk, and that’s true. The problem is when every event looks like spilled milk, it’s all equally meaningless. Why waste time crying when it can’t change anything?
I’ve revised my opinion of crying quite a bit in the last year, as I’ve revised my definition of a happy story (fewer than twenty people die, the bad guy gets caught) and what it takes to make me feel safe (before: walls and a door, after: quite a bit more). Crying now is a safety valve, my default way of handling the immensity of everything I deal with on the daily. I don’t even have to be especially sad; I cry when I’m angry or feel slighted or am particularly disgusted by the apathy and ignorance in the world. I’m careful when and where I blow off steam because the last thing I want is to become The Girl Who Cries.
Luckily I have a face that’s as blank as a projector screen thanks to years of dedication to the fine art of Hiding How I Feel About Shit. It’s something that people don’t generally notice because I over-emote in conversation to compensate. I stare at my face in the bathroom after another conference call that goes nowhere good and even though I can feel hot tears pushing behind my eyes, there’s no sign of them on my face. My eyes aren’t red, my skin isn’t splotchy and if I opened my mouth my voice wouldn’t crack. I wish I played poker, I think, why did I never bother to learn the rules properly? I’d make a killing. Not a tell in sight.
And I need it, my no-tell face and voice, because this week has left me crying every night. At the best of times it’s hard, that’s just the nature of the beast, but this hasn’t been the best of times. More and more I wonder if I’m doing the right thing, or if I’m helping one evil defeat another evil. The worst part is that I can’t even tell myself that the previous sentence is overly dramatic because frankly, it’s not dramatic enough. Just like when I wonder if my phone is being spied on or when I think I’m being followed, I can’t tell myself I’m just being paranoid. This is real life.
I don’t make it any easier on myself, although I don’t know how I possibly could. I can’t dissociate myself, not when I can so easily see myself in dead faces. Because that’s the problem, isn’t it, that it could so easily be me. Or someone I love. How many people have I seen on the bus who looked at me and saw a potential victim. What made them change their mind. How close did I come to being a number.
This is the kind of thing I can’t stop thinking about, though I don’t let on that I do. I don’t say it and so nobody guesses. Nothing gets out, like tears, and nothing gets in, like people.
I guess I haven’t revised my opinions quite as much as I thought. Everything feels meaningless and scary, and I’m so tired. I wish someone knew. I wish there was a tell for all of that.
I guess this is it.