I wish I could cry. Like for the unnamed narrator of Fight Club, crying is deliverance. I need to sleep again.
I wish there was some sort of gag reflex or meaningless physical ritual I could perform to make myself cry. To get all this shit out, and feel better. But tears don’t come. If I blink hard, I can feel a bit of moisture. But that’s all.
Remember being lost as a kid? Your mother is gone (so is dad, but for other reasons), and you have to keep moving? You can’t sit down and cry, you can’t wail for help. But your chest still tightens up, and the world blurs. You no longer know where you are. I have no memory of these situations ever resolving themselves. I’m alive and still in contact with her, so I must have found her at some point.
This is how I feel. When I am lost, crying is impossible. When I’m found, crying is unnecessary.
I must keep moving. Go to school, go to church. Roll myself a cigarette, roll one for my roommate. Sleep on the couch, lie in the shower and try not to worry.
Listen: the world is blurring.
There’s a beautiful line in Alice in Wonderland, after Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road she should take. He asks where she’s trying to go. When Alice says she doesn’t know, he responds, “Then it doesn’t matter.”
I love that. It’s one of my favorite bits of writing ever. But what I have begun to realize is that I’m not taking any roads right now. I’m not even in Wonderland. I’m still in the meadow, too lazy to pick daisies or read a book.
Maybe I would know where I am if I could see the landmarks. Like my mother by my side. She’s gone, and I’ve lost all frame of reference.
I can smile (I swear, I smile) and act like I’m getting around. But I’m really just walking quickly, because the clicking of my dress shoes against the tile is the noise I need to fill the air. I want to stop. Wail for help. Sit down and cry.
In 500 Days of Summer, there’s another beautiful line: “Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only loved two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing.”
Here, Jesse, I have no resolution—but a possible course of action:
1) Stop giving a shit about what people think of you when they read what you write.
2) No. Seriously, Jesse. Stop giving any shits.
3) Keep dying your hair, keep growing it out. Get more tattoos.
4) Get a black denim jacket.
(Stop thinking this isn’t a physical process. We’re creating a gag reflex.)
6) Pierce your ears (don’t pierce your ears, but appreciate the sentiment).
7) Learn to roll a better cigarette. (Let’s get this over with: Yes, Mom, sometimes I enjoy smoking the occasional cigarette.)
8) Sleep in your own bed.
9) Get up and pick some daisies.
Sorry, I got off track. For a moment, I recognized the landmarks.
I don’t know how it happens. I never know how these things are resolved but, some days, everything snaps into place. I stop pacing, and Oh, there’s my street. I chill out, start walking home. I’m where I need to be. But soon enough, I’m out walking again.
How is it that I’m found in a new place and completely lost in my every day? When I pick a road. When I’m headed somewhere and don’t know where I’ll end up. Then, and only then, I am okay.
But for now, the world just blurs. This is how I cry.