Do you ever wonder why we cry?
I never did, no reason.
I was the typical boy, after leaving childhood I rarely cried, sure severe pain might make my eyes water, but I just didn’t cry. To cry was a sign of weakness. Only my baby sister had the freedom of tears. She cried all the time. Mostly because me and my two brothers picked on her, but for us even a hint of a lip quiver, or any of the normal precursors to tears would be met with instant ridicule and was likely to get you punched than anything else.
I remember the only times I cried as an adult were when each of my three boys were born. But it was done in private with only my infant son the witness and I think they were all asleep as those silence tears splashed onto their tiny faces.
That was all I allowed myself, until one rainy Monday afternoon on the side a rural road when the volunteer fireman told me that my son was dead and they couldn’t get his body out of the crumpled mass of metal that lay below me without some heavy cutting tools and I should go home.
The pain was immediate and sharp, and I heard myself start to wail, it started unbidden from deep inside and with it came a thunder storm of tears. Collapsing to the gravel, my face buried deep in my hands, I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t want to stop crying, ever. I cried for an entire month, all through September. I cried at dinner, at work, while I watched TV, while I tried to sleep. I cried to strangers and friends alike. People avoided me like a disease.
I cried a lifetime of tears, then started on a second. The song by Green Day “When September ends” was popular at the time. That was my mantra. When September ends. It still brings tears and I usually skip it.
September did end, and my tears as well. But now I know the power of tears, I use them often to wash my soul of sadness, the wet tracks down my face radiate the pain outward.
Today is the anniversary of the day I learned how to cry. Today is a day of tears.
© The Autobiography of Mr. Perfect, 2013