The trailer for the new Terrence Malick movie made my eyes water. After I spent a few minutes thinking about how weird relationships are I spent a few minutes thinking about how weird crying is.

Not weird in a “Man I’m too f@#king tough to cry.” That’s not what I mean. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with crying, I don’t cry as much as I probably should, but that’s because I tend to sublimate my negative emotions and turn them into anger or self-loathing. But I am far from too cool to (anything,really) cry.

Three years ago I was in Omaha, NE visiting my Dad, Step-Mom and two little sisters. The new Pixar movie was out, so I thought it’d be Fun!(TM) to take them to go see it. Dad, and the girls and I, sat down in the theater and I got ready for our Fun!(TM). Pixar, the people that brought me a talking cowboy, an anthropomorphic robot, and The Little Fish that could… they outdid themselves.

Crying doesn’t accurately describe what happened beneath my 3D glasses.

I spent the whole sequence frantically dabbing and wiping my face, doing everything I could to make sure that no one in my family looked over and saw me motherf@#king WEEPING.

Could it have been the couple falling in love? Maybe.
Was it their Dream Jar turning into their Failed Dream Jar? Could’ve been.
Maybe, just maybe, it was when the guy’s love of his life was diagnosed as being infertile, shortly before being diagnosed with a terminal disease just before being diagnosed dead as a fucking doorknob.

Damn Pixar my youngest sister is like TEN — all out of talking fish?

IMMEDIATELY before this we see this happy couple smiling and painting a kids room, because maybe this scene wouldn’t be sad enough without the juxtaposition.

So. Crying is weird.

I get that seeing the vicissitudinal nature of life play out in a condensed accelerated format will make me think about my own successes and failures with love, and the dreams that I may have (or have had) and how some of those aren’t coming true, and then those of my parents, and friends, and that yes, my sisters are watching this, blissfully unaware of the fact that they might have a few unfufilled dreams at the end too. Yes, that should trigger a feeling of sadness, or melancholy, or regret.

The connection between these two things that I hadn’t pieced together is that the trailer for that Terrence Malick film is not entirely unlike the sequence in Up. It’s a time-accelerated view of a relationship going through its good and bad times, scored largely by instrumental music. Is that what makes me cry? That’s awfully specific, but I’m okay with it. I understand that it should make me sad. That’s not weird.

It’s the glands around my eyes. Why empty them? That’s just weird. I don’t have a good explanation for it.

I like saying “I don’t have a good explanation for it” because it paints me as this person that otherwise has had everything explained to him. Every day someone sits me down and says “So Phil, here’s the deal with digestion” or “You’ve been asking about Zip Codes, here we go!” and I just haven’t made it to the “Crying” lecture. Hopefully, when you picture this, I am on a golden throne surrounded by adorers.

Things that make, or have made me cry.

1. Almost every Pixar movie. (Cars can suck it.)
2. The Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances at weddings.
3. Rewatching the sequence from UP so I could write a blog about it. MAN that works.
4. That first party I went to in college when everyone was having fun and I felt totally left out.
5. Animals helping other animals. 
6. Knowing that my Mom cried.*

*She always hides it, but one time she didn’t hide it very well.

It can’t all be drug addiction jokes I guess.





One thought on “Crying is Weird.

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