I forget to cry sometimes.
I forget how.
Is it really forgetting if I shove it from my mind?
I forget how tears taste. That salty flavor of a French Fry as they leak into the corners of my mouth. When I finally remember I am unnerved at how much it hurts when my breath hitches in my throat and how that pain in my heart radiates through my chest and up my neck and comes out of my mouth in that ugly sound that can't possibly be my voice but is.
The way my fingers tingle and burn while I try to wash the wet from unseeing eyes, blurred and shimmering, but still clearly able to see the pain. How I feel like I ran a marathon because it actually makes my muscles hurt and my pulse race. Looking up and realizing 25 minutes have passed in the space of 5 and damn it, what if somebody saw??
I forget because I'm so busy being fine. I'm fine. I forget 'cause I'm strong. Everyone says so. I'm capable. I function. I work. I eat, sleep, shower. Talk. Comfort. Laugh. Give. Share. Nurse. Protect. Feed folks. Donate to charity. Counsel. Pray. I drink the godforsaken water that leaks out of the corners of my eyes when I forget to forget not to cry. All the daily things that prove I'm fucking fine.
I'm also crumbling and broken and just so so so damn tired. I'm wound up and guarded - - dissatisfied and anxious and depressed. My responsibilities and fears weigh me down. I hate the fuck out of taking my stupid HIV meds everyday - but I do. These side effects have an effect on my life, but it's part of staying healthy right?
I hate this lonely in a crowded room feeling, but I feel it. No matter how comfortable I may be, or not be on a given day, I always feel a tiny bit separate and different when I'm around people who don't know my status.
Hell, I can't damn decide if I'm happy with my body or if I want to cut pieces of it off some days.
My parental/grand-parental responsibility at nearly 50 is weight I don't want to carry-but I do.
I hate moving and packing and change, but more days than not lately, I'm on the verge of just that. Just pack my shoes and scrubs and go. I'm well aware it's running, but it can just be a midlife change and be fine. Right? Men do that shit all the time. (Aren't they the strong ones?)
I cry for patients sometimes. I cry with other people when they are in pain. I hug them and let my shirt get wet with their water cleanse. I tell them it's gonna be okay. That I'm here if they need to talk or cry again. That time will make things more clear. It's okay that only Jesus and the devil know that sometimes I selfishly steal a couple of those tears for myself. Jesus knows I don't follow my own great advice 'cause time is passing and shit ain't clear. So I steal tears because big girls don't cry. They swallow those tears and take the next necessary steps when they just wanna sit down somewhere and not get up.
Instead. I'm fine. I got this. The whole overwhelming bundle. I've been doing it and I'll keep doing so. Cause I'm fucking fine.
Except today I remembered how to cry.
It burned. My eyes. My nose. My fingers. Like I was the damn Wicked Witch of the West melting under Dorothy's bucket of water. I got the red splotchy cheeks and runny nose to prove it. For you who are reading this, I pray your tears are healing and peaceful. That you feel release and a settling in your spirit. That's what tears should do. Cleanse you. Allow clarity. Not melt you into a puddle like mine do.
Now I'll forget again. On purpose. Until the next time I forget to forget.