I hate the look, feel and sound of my mother’s crying. It’s not so much the implications as the act itself: ugly, rolling down in fat, butchered sweeps. She looks younger than ever when she cries, as much as twenty years younger. Perhaps I am so affected by her crying because it shows me the time I will never recall: the days she was not my mother.
Once someone told me I am at my most pretty when I am crying. I think that’s true of a great many girls, maybe boys, though I have only ever seen a few of those cry. Most people would say the beauty of crying is its vulnerability, but I don’t think I agree. When I cry, I go to the bathroom and stare hard at my face. Then I wipe my runny nose with toilet paper, sit on the floor and think to the future, to the days I will not be crying.
My face when I cry is flushed, but that itself is not discernibly sad. The color is warm, red blood vessels contracting underneath dark skin, pleasing even to a critical eye. My mouth, which has always been small and and my most trustworthy feature, does not falter. It can somehow, miraculously, still the picture of my collapsing brow, but never the eyes underneath.
Something about the whole damn thing is aesthetic. Not necessarily pretty, like that someone once said, but definitely aesthetic. I have yet to decide if it’s a car-crash aesthetic or a zen-garden aesthetic.
When my mother cries, nothing about the scenario or her face is attractive. I want to clasp her arm, I want to punch her as hard as I can. When she cries, I become someone I don’t know, someone who can comfort and cry at the same time, a someone who can hold her mother while praying for the days she’ll never have to cry again.