Men Don’t Cry

Men have violent “sad seizures” in which there just so happens to be a large amount of liquid lost from their eyes, nose, and possibly mouth.

I like to make fun of Adelaide for crying a lot. Not while she’s crying (I’m not that dumb) but later at some point, at least a few minutes after she’s finished. She claims that she doesn’t cry that often, so I’ll remind her of all the days in the past month or week that she cried, which leads to her saying that a lot of girls cry just as much as her and that she isn’t that abnormal. I roll my eyes at this. “Mm-hmmm.”

I pick on her for crying about what I think are somewhat unimportant, minor things. Things that I would personally just mutter a few nasty curse words at. Or if it’s something more significant, I’d just bottle it up and keep it to myself to silently obsess over for the next week or two while losing sleep. But I rarely cry. I just don’t feel the need for it. In addition to making fun of Adelaide for crying, I like to brag to her about how seldom I cry. “Before I met you I went for seven years without crying. I was 21 when I cried last, Adelaide! Can you believe that? And the time before that I was 13! I bet you’ve cried more in half a week than I’ve cried my entire non-baby existence!”

To be fair, I shed more than a bucket full of tears when Adelaide was hit by the car, and many more in the week after. But after that? After that I was all dried up.

I was three and a half hours into my ride today when I was passed by a firetruck with its lights and siren on, heading west into Lyons. I didn’t think much of it at first, other than hoping it wasn’t another cyclist like the guy who was hit two days ago (at the time of this writing I don’t know what it was for). I made the left turn to head south back into Boulder on 36, which takes about half an hour. A few minutes later a police car flew by in the opposite lane with its lights and siren on, heading to Lyons as well. At that moment I let the horrible thought that I’d been holding back finally enter my consciousness: Adelaide was going to ride with Rhae at 1PM. It’s 1:53 right now. It would take them 35 minutes to get to Lyons from our house, meaning that if they were hit in Lyons it would have been 20 minutes ago, which was just a few minutes before the firetruck passed me.

I was getting pretty tired and hungry at that point and only had one gel left, which was a nasty, old, stale flavor that I despise. And it wouldn’t be enough for me to ride into Lyons and back without a bonk. I had $10 in my seat bag though. Assuming it wasn’t Adelaide and Rhae that were hit, I could stop at a gas station on the way back for a burrito. No, I’m gluten free now. I can’t have burritos. Two more police cars went by while I thought of this, right as I was half way up the hill that Adelaide was hit on a year and a half ago. I began losing the ability to pedal. My legs felt like mush and it wasn’t from being tired and hungry. I began doing the hyperventilating thing that a crying person does without the tears. I slowed and was about to do a U turn to head to Lyons but held back just a moment. I didn’t want to see whatever was waiting for me there. In my mind I already had images of blood, bodies on stretchers, and flashing lights everywhere. If it was Adelaide and Rhae, there was nothing I could do at this point and I’d rather not see another crash scene. If it was another cyclist, I certainly did not want to see that either. I kept riding back into town, speeding up with a small jolt of energy, knowing that the sooner I got home the sooner I could call them to see if they were all right.

The first thing I did when I walked into our apartment was to go find my phone upstairs under the pile of blankets on our bed (I don’t call anyone and no one calls me so I leave it upstairs as my alarm clock, which is its main purpose). I called Rhae first since I knew she rides with her phone. It range five or six times and went to the answering machine. I immediately called her again, with no answer. I called Adelaide next, pacing back and forth across the room. Her phone rang and then went to the answering machine too. I called it again, this time looking for it upstairs, hoping to see it there buzzing on silent—that the reason she wasn’t answering was because she left it at home. I didn’t find it. I became more frantic, fully realizing how irrational it was to be freaking out like this since there were hundreds of other cyclists out on the road and the chance of them being the ones that were hit was tiny. I called Rhae again, and again, and….

“Hi Kennett! What’s up?”
“Hi Rhae, are you riding with Adelaide right now?” I asked.
“Yeah, we just stopped to eat. You want to talk to her?”

I spoke with Adelaide for half a minute, hung up, and immediately began sobbing. It was a quick cry (a man sad seizure). It only lasted about 27 seconds but by the time I was done there was snot touching the ground, still hanging from my nose (I was seated, not standing).

“Damn. That definitely counts.”

Like a factory with one of those “397 Days Without An Injury” sign, I just set mine back to zero.


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