Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The tracks of my tears

Lips that taste of tears, they say,
are the best for kissing.
~Dorothy Parker

Not everyone cries. A friend of mine has not cried in over ten years or something crazy like that. Some people just don't show their emotions like that. Those "some people" are probably bottling it all up. I strongly suggest you steer clear of them on the day the rains come.

I cry. A lot. I have such a tough exterior, but those who know me, or those who have gotten close enough to hurt my feelings know the sad girl. As soon as my lower lip starts to tremble, I usually try to explain myself, blubbering, "I'm a cryer," my voice a bottomless crevasse. "Really. Don't take it personally, everything makes me weep."

It's cathartic. Vulnerable. The tears are a testament to how visceral the moment is. My body has no choice but to respond. It's me. With no control. My brain, for once, does not get a vote. To tell the truth, I almost kind of... like it. I even like how I look when I am crying. How do I know what I look like in moments of sadness? Well, there is the fact that my mom loves to take pictures of me crying, stating, "there will always be hundreds of pictures of you smiling. This? This is real life." If it isn't captured by my loving mom, it is when the perfect storm of low self-esteem and narcissism collide. I like to make sure the image being broadcasted to the world reflects what I think it should. I hide in the bathroom for a minute and make eye contact with the sad girl. And right before I tell her to snap the fuck out of it, I like to see what she sees and also see what everybody else sees. I detach. And, honestly, I don't look half-bad with bloodshot eyes and slimy nostrils. In a weird way, it works on me. Every now and then the crying gets ugly (Beaches or Steel Magnolias); my face blotchy, my mascara has become lip liner. But in times like that, I am usually already in decade-old sweats and well on my way to housing a large bag of peanut butter m&m's. At that point, I don't have the energy to care anymore.

I used to place the blame on any number of things: I am about to start my period. I missed my period. I miss my friends. I miss him. He broke my heart. I broke my favorite bowl. I am broke. And then there is the classic girl excuse for tears: I am just tired. No, really, I am fine. I am just tired.

I gave up on the excuses. I cry when I am sad and that is all there is to it. But there is another kind of tears I am not used to. Tears of joy. I have had them, but they are rare. Even when I am crying at a wedding, it's not because I am happy for the couple. It is because I am single at a wedding. Again. Looking around at the guest list, the prospects don't look good. I know that dull prospects are probably not going to stop me from drinking my feelings and going home (or just far enough away in the dark) with some douche bag. Any non-married girl in their twenties who tells you, at a wedding, that those are tears of happiness, is completely full of shit.

When the tears of joy do happen, it is a foreign occasion. I never know what to do. I am crying, so my instinct is to curl up in the fetal position with my favorite treat and a Lifetime movie. It happened to me today. I was overwhelmed, feeling ecstatically blessed and I started to spontaneously leak. My fingers flew to my cheek in wonder and my gut told me to call a friend and have them talk me off the ledge. But, wait. These are happy tears. I am happy. Elated, in fact. I am so happy that there is nothing left to do but... cry? It makes no sense. When things make no sense to me, then comes the laughter. So now I am crying and laughing and all mixed up. Maybe I should run to the mirror and see what the sad girl thinks. See what she would do. I tilt the rearview mirror, the green of the passing trees becomes the green of my eyes staring back. My crow's feet crinkle in unison, giggling at me. Oh, I get it. The sad girl isn't here anymore. I wonder if I will miss her. Maybe even shed a tear.

1 comment:

erika said...

sarah....i've never ventured here before....but this little tid bit of prose has me all choked up. i can sooooo relate.

you have a gift for writing; and eloquently.... as well as honing in on words to feelings. i'm so glad you have created an outlet for this, and will be back!