I have never been an outwardly emotional person. For better or for worse, my tendency has always been to keep things bottled up inside. I'm not proud of this nor am I ashamed to admit it. I've actually had the urge to write about this for quite some time but I wasn't sure how to put it out there or if anyone would give a shit. I've said to my wife at times that this blog has been a huge outlet for me. It's so much easier for me to express myself in writing. I know it sounds pathetic but I feel that at times, I'm a better Father and Husband in this blog than I am in real life. Maybe that's just how I see it. I've been in therapy before, if only to try and figure out a way to communicate my inner most feelings with the people I love. The truth is, I haven' t had much luck. Until recently...
The first time I noticed the change was on the train a few months ago. I was on my way to the office. It was early, around 7am. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. I was reading the paper. I remember the article vividly. It was a story about a five year old boy who was repeatedly neglected and abused by his mother and her boyfriend. There had been obvious signs, both physical and psychological but neighbors, guardians and family alike ignored them all. It wasn't until the boy turned up dead that people decided to talk. He was beaten so badly that his once adorable face was left completely mangled and unrecognizable. I sat on that train in my sun glasses and stared out the window for almost an hour, crying like a baby. All I could picture was that little boy wondering why his Mommy would do such a thing. Why did she not love him the way he loved her and that fucking monster of a boyfriend who didn't give a rat's ass about anything but where his next beer was coming from. How can you hit a child with such blunt force to the head that he can't even cry, let alone speak your name.
Crying for me is tough. It's kind of like being constipated. You feel like you have to go but every time you sit on the crapper, nothing comes out. I didn't cry when my kid was born. I don't remember crying when my closest relatives passed away. It's not that I don't feel the emotion, I just can't get the faucet to turn on. But lately for some weird reason, I've been crying at every measly thing that turns up.
A few weeks ago I was running on the treadmill in my house. I was listening to "This American Life" podcast on my Ipod. I was about two miles in and I was taken completely by surprise. The episode was about people who were remembered in different ways either in life or in death. There was a story about a Mother of a special needs child. The Mother was terminally ill and she was distraught over the notion of her child having to make due without her. I was so taken by this woman's plight that I found myself weeping in mid stride. Crying again like a baby while running my 9 minute mile. Have you ever tried to keep your breath during a run while blowing your nose into a sweaty towel? Holy shit. What the fuck is happening to me? Am I cracking up? Could the lunar pull of the vaginal cycle in my house be tricking my nuts into premenstrual dysphoric disorder? This is not an isolated incident.
When that annoying blind guy on American Idol got the boot... Cried my eyes out. When that uni-browed, spinster Susan Boyle belted out that piece of shit song from Les Miserables... Bawled like I was watching a Ricky Schroder flick. Damn, I was reading an article on the rise and fall and rise again of Hulk Hogan or some shit like that in Rolling Stone and I got all teary eyed. Just the other day I was walking to work and I was listening to that Creed song "With Arms Wide Open" and I started to get all caught up in the lyrics about Scott Stapp finding out he's gonna be a father and BAM! Crying like a chick without a date to the junior prom.
I can't put my finger on it. I don't get why all of a sudden I'm 99% salt water and 1% snot nose. How do I go from having the emotional dexterity of Clint Eastwood to the three faces of Richard Simmons? It just doesn't make sense. Maybe I'm just a slow learner. Maybe it's the shitty economy or that John Ritter isn't around to make me laugh anymore. Wait... Sorry, I just needed to take a moment. Whatever it is, I think I like it. I know guys aren't supposed to cry but jeez, it feels so good to just let her rip every once in a while. I'm not gonna fight it. I've finally found my emotional MiraLAX and I'm gonna take my medicine like a good little boy.
I mean really, there's only one thing better than a good crap and that's a good cry. You don't have to be Out-Numbered to figure that one out...