You’ve got to. . .cry without weeping

4 05 2009

I hate crying.

I don’t do it very often, which means that when I do cry, I don’t do it well.

It doesn’t make me feel better, I don’t feel cleansed, released, relieved, or in any way unburdened.

When I’m crying, there’s always a part of me saying, Well, shit, I’m crying, and I hate crying.

I have cried more the past 6 days than I have the past 6 years, maybe the past 16 years. I cried on the bus, on the train, walking down the street, at my desk, on my bed, in the shower, at the stove, while washing dishes, making coffee, and retrieving milk from the refrigerator.

Have I mentioned how I feel about crying?

I don’t know what to do with tears, not least because I don’t know what to do with what causes tears. I’m no good with sadness.

Depression, despair, anxiety, numbness, unhappiness, disgruntlement, dissatisfaction—got all those down. But sadness? A specific reaction to a specific event which cannot in any way be fixed? Nope.

In many ways, I’ve been lucky. My parents and siblings and their kids are all alive and well, as are all close friends, past and present. Yes, I’ve had pets who were taken away or who’ve died, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve had to deal with something other than a self-inflicted loss.

I’ve certainly inflicted loss, on myself and others. I’ve left jobs and friends and cities, and am number one with the romantic-relationship-ending bullet. One former friend, who a couple of years ago decided to punish me for my alleged misbehavior (a misunderstanding) told me not to contact him, not even to try to clear up the misunderstanding, that he would contact me when he was good and ready. Fine. The letter he eventually sent still hasn’t been opened, the e-mail, unread.

Shut it down and walk away. Bloodless.

It’s not that I don’t recognize the downsides of being a cold bitch, and most of the time, I’m just a regular bitch. But I’m comfortable with the distances of bitchiness, even as I sometimes think that distance itself is not always the most comforting. This is what I’ve chosen. Consequences.

But now this, the mercy-killing of a cat who’s been with me almost all of my adult life. She leapt over my boundaries and into my lap even when I protested that I was reading or typing or just not in the mood. She didn’t care about my moods. She wanted to be scratched and held and at the center of my attention.

On cold nights she’d step over the blankets to sit on the sheet to the side of the pillow, and wait for me to lift the covers and let her in. And when I didn’t immediately do so, she’d paw at the covers, and if I still didn’t respond, she’d put her paw with her claws ever-so-slightly extended on my nose and remind me that if I knew what was good for me, I’d lift the fucking covers RIGHT NOW and let her in. Which I always did.

I’d bitch, but I’d always let her in.

And now she’s gone and I look at the box for the multi-cat litter and tear up, thinking, I only have one cat now. I open the fridge and look down at the floor, next to the heating pipe where she used to lay, and she’s not there. I lay in bed with Fat Cat on one side of me and the other side empty.

I used to wake up and pull both cats close and whisper ‘It’s good to wake up with two kitties next to me.’

No more.

So this is loss and it makes me sad and there’s nothing I can do about it except live with it.