Do I really have to go there? Seriously, I’m a dude and dudes don’t weep. At least, not the way I was brought up. I can remember one time – not one of my “banner” moments. I was, hmmm, an early teen, maybe around 15 or so. I had my own motorcycle – a Suzuki. I used to ride it out in the woods, which were quite plentiful “back in the day”. These days most of those same woods are populated by McMansions in my old home town. Anyhow, my parents were fine with letting me go off and ride with a small group of other kids in the neighborhood who had motorcycles (Doug had the 90cc Kawasaki, Mark had a small 50cc Honda, and Frank, well, I think he had a Husqvarna). The only rule my parents had was don’t let anyone else ride your motorcycle. In hindsight, a pretty good rule. But, of course, kids don’t follow rules very well.
So… we’re out riding in the woods one day and I agree to let a friend (Mark), take my motorcycle for a spin. Off he goes. That particular section of the woods had a nice little riding loop (Pine Woods lake area) and a few minutes later I see him heading back towards the clearing we were all standing in. He’s lookin’ fine, coming down a nice, wide, clear straightaway and pretty soon it becomes apparent that he’s not going to stop. Concern turns to panic and I start waving my arms frantically but to no avail. He’s in some sort of a trance (literally and seriously) and drives right past us, heading straight for the lake. At the very last second he swerves off and drives into a group of young trees and saplings, hitting a tree.
We all go running over – and of course, I’m now panicking because I know “the rule”. And, to make matters worse, there is a consequence. Mark, the guy riding my now damaged motorcycle, is physically okay for the most part, but he has amnesia. Can’t remember, well, almost anything really. So, we begin the long trek/walk back home and meanwhile my mind is working furiously, trying to find a way out of this dilemma, while also trying to help Mark regain his memory – that, to no avail.
By the time we get home I’ve concocted this absurd “tale” (ok, lie) about how Mark had climbed a tree and was watching me ride my motorcycle when he fell out of the tree and I crashed my bike because I was watching him. Actually, somewhat plausible. There was a lot of seriousness and concern when all the parents convened, mine and his, and of course, concern for Mark’s amnesia. However, the story floated and all seemed good… Until my dad got home. I think I was out in the back yard and dad came out to see what had happened and he didn’t really do anything – he almost never got upset and only once do I have some vague recollection of him maybe actually strapping us with a belt (and believe me, we deserved it that time), but he just looked at me and said, “now tell me what really happened”. And that was it. I just spilled the real story and I started to cry and he looked at me and said, “stop crying – men don’t cry.”
And as you can see, that experience has stuck with me for my entire life – in every particular detail. I can see it, feel it, and smell it as if it happened only yesterday. I guess those are the moments that define us and make us who we are because they become so ingrained into the fabric of who we are that there is nothing to do but accept that as a fiber of our being.
So, despite that “teen” lesson, I do cry. Indeed, lately I’ve been crying at the drop of a hat. I’ll be fine one moment, and then “BAM” – Niagra Falls (just watched Scrooged the other night and the taxi driver dude says that to Bill Murray – Niagra Falls). Seriously though, since my mom passed away I can be fine most of the time, and then all it takes is some small stray thought, or a sudden and momentary realization that she is really gone, and I lose it. Also, for the week after my sweetie was diagnosed with liver cancer last February, many tears were shed, and still occasionally are, for all that she has been through, and for what she continues to have to endure.
And yes – movies can get to me too. Honestly, I think I need more testosterone or something, although that could make driving in commuter traffic “interesting”
So, that’s my “weepy” story.