I Wish I Could Make You Cry
I wish I could make you cry. God, it would be the best gift you’d ever give me. Better than a Sunday morning orgasm or a mixed tape. Better than a faded picture of us that I could put in my drawer to remind myself that someone once loved me. No, a few of your tears (four max!) would mean more to me than any of that. It would make my heart swell up with relief and I’d feel a sense of accomplishment. I’d die happy knowing that I made a grown man cry. Have you ever done that before? Didn’t think so.
It’s funny how drastically things can change. In the beginning, all I wanted to do was make you happy. I wanted you to be as far away as possible from the land of tears, and if someone had told me that I would eventually be writing something about how badly I wanted to make you cry, I don’t know if I would’ve believed them. I don’t know if I’d be able to imagine such a thing. But here we are! Believe it. That’s just how this relationship happened to work out, I guess. I’m sorry, I’m new to all of this. I’m learning everything as I go along. Please forgive me for being a slow learner.
If I could make you cry, it would mean that I meant something to you. It would mean that you cared about me in a way that scared you and made you uncomfortable. You only cry about once a year. It’s reserved for special occasions only. I know this for a fact because you’ve told me. To the best of my knowledge, these are the last three things that have made you cry:
- You used to get in fights with people in middle school and when they were finished, you said you would always cry, no matter what. It wasn’t about winning or losing a fight with someone. It was about trying to understand new emotions (and ultimately failing), and realizing that being “a man” meant inflicting physical harm on people who didn’t deserve it.
- Your parents’ divorce. But you only cried once and it was in the bath when everyone else had gone to bed.
- That movie Simon Birch. It was on cable and you were sort of hungover and I understand completely because that movie made me tear up too.
Basically, I want to be a part of that list! Put me right after Simon Birch. I seriously would be so honored. The other day, when you were picking up your things, I asked — no, demanded — that you cry for me. I felt stupid doing it alone in front of you and I wanted you to join in like we were some kind of symphony. A symphony of heartbroken gay boys. At that point, I was exhausted. I was tired of not saying what was exactly on my mind so I just blurted out everything. And I thought it would get the tear ducts going. They’d get all lubricated. But no. Nothing happened. You just stood there with your not-crying face and watched me dissolve into mush. It was real cute.
I know I don’t have the power to make you cry and it breaks my heart. Is there something wrong with me? Why can’t I garner a powerful reaction from someone who supposedly loved me? When I asked you to cry you told me, “Boys don’t cry!” and I laughed but now I don’t think that was a funny thing to say. In retrospect, I don’t think that was a funny thing to say at all.
I do not like tattoos. I have coworkers, friends, and family who have tattoos. Your reasoning is that you love something so much, you want it with you on your body forever.
I was born in Fort Collins; this is the town where I went to elementary, middle, and high school. This town has been my reality for the 18 years that I have inhabited this earth. This is the only town I know.
You miss them. You’ve missed them all long, surely, but you’re just now realizing it, and it’s numbing.