Sadly, I’ve lost the ability to cry. Make it ironically, will you? One day, not too long ago, I tried to do it, and it just didn’t click – it wasn’t there anymore. It happened over some traumatizing break up, naturally; always about a girl, that fellow keeps on reminding me. And it wasn’t calculated, I never intended for it to happen. But it happened anyway, and, frankly, I feel I should complain and miss the act of crying.
It all comes down to expectations, you see. It’s not that there’s something particularly important in the warmth of tears spreading through your face, or the belief that crying relieves the soul. I am not 100% sure of the former and I definitely don’t believe the latter: it’s about how one is allowed to deal with sadness and pain, and how we actually need to perform to ourselves.
When I was a kid, one of the things that amazed me the most was the fact that my grandmother never cried. We – meaning my little sister and me – had our fair share of tears, usually due to our parents’ horrible disposition. Well, it might have had something to do with our infernal behavior, but I will deliberately discard that. Point being old Matilde never shed a tear that I could see: not when people we cared died, not when the daily fights broke, not when we won ’94 soccer world cup. Every time I asked her the reason behind such ludicrous self-control, she calmly, contemplatively, replied: “I ran out of tears long ago”.
But I digress.
Let me try and explain: I’ve been indulging a theory, and it hasn’t anything to do with why I can’t cry, but where that’s taking me. As much as we are led to perform to the others around, we also need to do it to ourselves. It’s a sociological thing, I think. Crying does not have a magic way of addressing anything, it is the act itself – materially – that is responsible for any shade of catharsis we may be able to find out. And the prized question, my friends, is: what would happen to someone who lost the capacity to enact – to perform, to execute such a basic action?
I don’t know, not anymore than you do. What I do know is that by not crying, we get to give sadness, pain, sorrow, grief, a perpetual home, a home-cooked meal and an invitation to stick around that simply won’t expire. I can feel how the lack of tears has been taking its toll on me; how it turns everything to dust, steals the colors around, bathes me in gray. And the irony – the one I mentioned previously – is that even though I’m able to grasp all this inconvenient truth, the inability to perform this simple rite, to execute one poorly coded command from our evolutionary core robs me of the proverbial fucks I ought to give.
I don’t miss crying, no – and not because it makes me look stronger. I just have, I’m led to believe, receded into… contemplation.