#5: Cry on a street corner

06 Jan

Crying while walking is easy.  I’ve done that plenty of times (my 25th birthday, practically every day for 3 weeks after my last breakup).  You just continue walking along the sidewalk as if nothing is wrong while tears stream down your cheeks so anyone who notices thinks you must have something in your eye or you just poured a bottle of water over your face or something.  You can blend in when you’re crying while walking because it’s so nonsensical that the general public can’t comprehend how you would actually be crying while walking along normally.

Crying while sitting on a bench somewhere?  I’ve done that, too.  Simple.

But crying while standing on a street corner–it’s slightly more complicated, which is why I’d never attempted it before.  You can’t pretend everything’s okay when you suddenly leave a happy hour, walk to the corner, and just start crying.  You can’t look like you just have something in your eye when you’re shivering while leaning against a pole, looking pathetic.  You have to admit to bystanders and, even more difficult, yourself, that you are crying because you just couldn’t stand to sit there listening to your friend recount the story you’ve heard multiple times about how she suddenly left NYC because she didn’t want the job she had and how she is now so happy in her new job that pays really well.  You have to tell yourself the truth that you’re still a little hurt by how she abandoned you and don’t really want to hear about how her life is so great now when yours is continually falling apart, piece by piece.  And then you look up at the street sign and realize you’re so close to the apartment of the man responsible for some of those pieces that you have to continue crying, because you’re ashamed that you’re thinking about how much better off his life is without you and how right now he is probably sitting at home feeling completely content.  And then you wonder how long you’ve been standing there on the corner because, come on, shouldn’t at least one of your friends have come out by now to check on you?  And with all the random strangers walking by, how could not one stop to ask if you’re okay?  You’re standing here crying as if someone has died, and no one in that entire time is even slightly curious to find out whether that’s the case or if you’re actually just upset over how worthless you feel?

Eventually your friend will come out and find you, and this is the part that is most difficult because now there is absolutely no pretending that you’re not devastated over life.  Because as soon as she puts her arm around you, you have to start breaking out into actual sobs.  At this point you no longer expect passersby to even acknowledge you exist, let alone that you’re crying, because it’s obvious you’re so messed up that they think they might catch it by looking at you.

Finally, there will be no tears left (for now) and you will have to return to the bar because, as will be the case with any true dramatic exit, if you’ve done it correctly, you have left your purse there.

And then you’ll just go home, stopping to get pizza on the way, as if nothing has happened.  Your friend won’t mention it and you won’t mention it, and the only reminder that you pulled off this grand feat will be the puffy, red eyes that greet you in the morning.

So, crying on a street corner–I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone.

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Architecture


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