Last night, I again could not sleep. I rented Light It Up
, a movie about kids who stand up against appalling school conditions. I won't give the story away, but the whole duration of the movie you're wondering if the inevitable happens: one kid dies. These kids wanted the windows and water leaks in their freezing classroom
s to be fixed, they wanted textbooks. One of them dies. Over textbooks.
Something in me started to cry. I cry at sad movies, but this was different. At just that moment I realized that, in the last month, I have not allowed myself to cry. All of it hit me at once, the realization and helplessness, and how alone I felt at the time.
It is hard to articulate crying in print. We are motivated to make it beautiful and endearing in film, when usually your face just gets all red and your nose all gooey and your whole face feels hot and moist. We usually look like this when we're sick. It's also hard to convey how embarrassing crying is, even when I'm alone, when the walls are breathing with the lives of other people all around me that are sleeping at 1am like normal people, and there I was crying, sobbing the small child sobs, muffling them with my hands, heavy heaves and rocking back and forth on the bed.
We do not cry at speeches. We do not cry when we are reporting tragedies. We do not cry when we go to war. We do not cry like trained starlets. We do not say something poetic when blood is seeping out of us and someone is not always there to listen. We cry when people die, and it hit me that I watched two buildings collapse, live on the morning news. and could not feel anything for a month. Because, well, I had to go to work, I had to be useful, so I push the sadness down. I think we all have.
When I read about the Biblical days of sackcloth and ashes, I envy the ancient world their ability to mourn. We are so bottled up now. Millions of people are not supposed to blow off the deaths of a few thousand. I am not so bold that this has not touched me.
This day, last month, we could never have anticipated where would be now. September 10th was the last day I thought I could ignore the rest of world and stay encapsulated in my own. This day, last month, people were trying to keep Hermetic's death from me so that I wouldn't lose it at work, as I had a week prior. I can't let go of that, all these changes to our lives. I sat there, apologizing to God for being so evil, for killing one another to prove a point. Even if it's what we must do, we are not what was intended.
I slept better than I had in weeks.