CRYING OUT LOUD
I BET YOU NEVER EVEN KNOW THEY DO BUT SOMEBODY’S CRYING ... AND LATELY IT FEELS LIKE THERE’S BARELY A DRY EYE IN THE HOUSE
“THE QUESTION IS, IS IT REALLY OK FOR A GUY TO CRY? OR ARE THERE JUST TOO MANY OF US DOING IT THESE DAYS?”
Informer is a crier. Cry at the drop of a hat, though never without good reason ... or excellent hat. cried this week when my son moved out, and he was only going to the shops for a couple of pies. Hey, I wear my heart on my sleeve and my pie mostly down my front.
The subject of men crying has been in the news, most recently as one Australian cricketer after another has had self-inflicted cause to give the tear ducts a public workout.
However, it’s also the case more generally. As a result, we chaps have been forced to come to grips with our masculinity — no, not a euphemism — being increasingly called into question.
Informer’s father, who is so very old school that they expelled him from the ordinary old school, reckons “the decline in manhood is enough to make you cry”.
Then he ordered me to do the crying for him. The one time he ever had a lump in his throat it was a goitre.
I cry in movies. That scene in Love Actually when Emma Thompson is trying so hard to be stoic despite knowing that hubby Alan Rickman has cheated on her and she’s making the bed and Joni Mitchell is playing
Both Sides Now in the background and, well, that’s me blubbing for the next five minutes. The final kissing montage in Cinema Paradiso gets me every time. The end of The
Elephant Man. And when Willem Dafoe dies in Platoon, all because of Tom Berenger. As if Vietnam wasn’t hard enough without your own blokes going rogue. I’m welling up now at the thought of it.
I cry over music. The “I’ll take the spokes from your wheelchair and a magpie’s wings, and I’ll tie them to your shoulders and your feet” bit from Tom Waits’ Kentucky Avenue has me sniffling without fail. Same with Little Feat’s Trouble, and Peter Gabriel’s version of
The Book of Love. And Julie Miller’s Broken Things (“you can have my heart, if you like broken things”).
My mother and I would cry together over Harry Chapin’s Cats In the Cradle.
The question is, is it really OK for a guy to cry? Or are there just too many of us doing it these days? Another kind of fakery in our fake news world.
Informer once cried on a football field. Not a good look. It was a bitter Tasmanian winter morning and the ball hit the icy ground and speared towards me, slipping through my smallish, non-piano playing hands to thunder into the Informer scrotum.
Despite the protection of my Riverside High School footy shorts and Batman undies, and even though said scrotum was already shrunken due to the cold, it couldn’t have hurt more.
Down I crumpled, tears erupting in an embarrassing nexus of ball, balls and bawling. My teammates, the opposition and umpire stopped play so they could laugh at me. I was captain that season.
Over the years I’ve been driven to tears, bored to tears, had things end in tears and occasionally begin with them. I’ve laughed until I cried, endured many a crying shame and for crying out loud I have cried out loud. It’s a sob story, for sure. Still, in Informer’s lachrymose life, one always weeps what one sows.