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 Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - INFORMER -

“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.

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