Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bathroom crying.

Going into a bathroom, at work, at school, at an anachronous musical theatre frat in Philadelphia. Walking--or schlepping, or rushing--into a stall, and sobbing, snotting, tearing up and hastily wiping away.

My mom does it. I do it. I'm sure my sister's done it. I'll have to ask my other female friends if they have, and maybe I'll ask my dad too. The deal is that crying in public is just not suitable. Just not allowable. Horribly embarassing and excruciatingly personal.

When I was in middle school--maybe eleven years old?--I started crying at a piano recital. It was another moment of "messing up," after weeks of practice and a minute of nervousness. I hated crying in the audience, ashamed of my performance, wondering why it had to be this way and, now, wondering why it meant so much to me. I started crying even more because of the fact that I was crying.

Then there was the time Mom told me that I had betrayed her trust, all because of a miscommunication (I had not in fact betrayed anything), and I started sobbing, unjustly accused and hysterically worried for my mother's love. I was on the metro bus back to school. I hopped out, went to a tree, and cried into the phone to my father. People stared. I then went to the Animal Sciences building and cried to my sister. I was crouched over sobbing and my underwear showed. In the midst of telling me that this would blow over (I was sure it wouldn't), Emily told me to pull my skirt down and sit up.

And now, sitting at the office, so ashamed to be tearing up and wondering if I can handle a long distance relationship. I feel sick. I went into the bathroom and sobbed for 30 seconds, but that was cruelly short. And will I be able to cry when I finally have the space to?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just get these tears out when they wanted to come, instead of saving them for a public toilet? Or a nervous breakdown in middle age? Wouldn't it be nice if every office had a Room for Tears where if you felt like sobbing, you could just go and sob, and be hugged or not, depending on how you felt. I'm sure I could get Kleenex in on this.

Go see The Cassandra Project at the DC Fringe festival in July. It will drive my point intensely, and exquisitely, home.


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