I’ve got used to crying now


Sun fading, heading east to Tokyo.

Crying now feels normal, part of my day. Not a very rare event like it was before Week 1, perhaps once or twice a year at most. No, now crying is an everyday thing, it’s what I do, like yawning when I’m tired, stretching when I’m stiff, shivering when I feel a chill.

In the darkness of a Future Laboratory event at Shoreditch Town Hall, two rows back, triggered by my introduction to circular fashion – a name put to something Beth believed in passionately, before it had a name.

Regularly, on a vinyl sketching mat at the Hallamshire Tennis and Squash club gym, starring at the suspended ceiling lights or at the clouds framed in the skylight. (Exercise seems to be a significant trigger, a physical release that connects to an emotional release).

In Izzy’s Mario Mini, to Daft Punk (The Soundtrack to My Grief) driving to somewhere, driving back from somewhere, where, in the cocooned shelter of a Mini One interior where the world can’t see or hear me, it comes out in floods and shudders and occasionally in screams. (At traffic lights in Sharrow a passer-by was visibly alarmed by one particularly vocal recall to rage)

On the dark side of a car park, away from the flood lights of Baldwin’s Omega Ballroom, at a memorial dinner for Izzy, when I felt the air was running out of any usable oxygen and I needed to get outside where I could be on my own, where I could loosen my tie and breath again, propped up by a red brick wall, as the music played on and my tears rolled down.

In the queue for a beard trim sat on the barber’s shop bench surrounded by lads and barber shop boys banter, with eyes down, to avoid any embarrassment on anyone’s part.

On a train to rural Leicestershire on Father’s Day (an obvious annual Trigger Day, never really bothered about it before, to be honest) reading a letter from Ellie, writing to me as a newly found friend and fellow griever, connecting with her words as the significance of the day lit up and the tears poured down.

All too frequently in supermarket isles, realising there’s no one to call to ask if they’re in or out tonight and if they want anything, other than the usual, and chocolate, which is a given.

Listening to Happiness (‘take me back to happiness’) by Crooked Man, my friend’s new album. A rip roaring house anthem, written to lift and soar and rise and ascend. (Instead, it brought on the biggest wave I’d felt for a long time).

On a British Airways flight to Tokyo, writing this, listening to Future Real and True (‘when the stars fade from view’), glancing at the dimming light on the horizon, thinking about watching their flight to Bangkok on an airline tracking App, not worrying, not worrying at all, just missing them gently, like you’re supposed to miss someone you love, gently.

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