Musical Tears

I’d often find myself moved to tears not, as one might expect, as a result of the lachrymose divinity of the music’s sound, nor its almost certain ability to conjure the fluttering images from my abyssal past.  I’d come to believe that the only person worthy enough to perform such beauty was myself. Only me, I thought. I’m the only person that appreciates the otherworldly brilliance and love found within a musical composition.  Therefore, I could only identify myself in the performance and I cried, as a result, because I felt slighted by Life. Why couldn’t I create something worthy to be performed and worshipped? Was I so undeserving as to receive what I thought was an unjustified omission of compositional genius? What did life want in exchange? The giant thought of me sitting before a collection of eager worshippers awaiting their nutritional illusion and playing divinely, pounding on the magical keys and provoking mass hysteria…rattle your keys! Fall to your knees and cry in a fist fucking rage! Stare blankly! Walk away in disgust! But, by all means, react! Let me see you poor. Can I see you drenched in tears fighting uncontrollably the demons that so fiendishly possess you? Can I conquer your illusions? And, what would I offer? More illusions? I don’t know, really. But, I’d give you passion. I’d give you tears. I’d give you sweat and movement. And, there’s nothing illusory about these. But, they wouldn’t accept such a gift. How could they? It was too real. Too wrenching. It played like a horror scene, a scene where you’ve realized minutes later that, in fact, your jaw has dropped…and you’re surprised by the reality of this. Strange, isn’t it? The authenticity you acknowledge upon realizing you didn’t decide to do something. This often conflicted with my thinking. I’d often assumed that the most authentic act had to be the one in which I imposed my will unto the fabric of our world, not, God forbid, one so overtaken by the winds of life as to sputter along mindlessly. No, not any more. I’d found the most authentic act not the forced dropping or the conscious, individual reaction to some event. But, the retro-gaze. The recognition that my jaw had dropped. I’d often felt embarrassed that such an authentic act had escaped me. Anatomical sleight of hand. Is it more beautiful if we don’t recognize something? Is this misanthropic?, I wondered. Is it? I was asked shortly thereafter with the most genuine intent, “Do you cry?” Tristan. What would make you cry?” Who knew that nearly every moment both of my waking and sleeping life was spent on the verge of tears? Did anyone know this? Is it noticeable? Should it be? Is crying akin to writing? For we never write for ourselves? But, do we cry for ourselves? Is crying communal? It must be, right? For the only mammal capable of moistening its eyes is the human.
I tried to answer in a way that didn’t puff the pity cigar, but I don’t think I succeeded. In fact, I choked. It was too strong, as was the urge. So, something reasonable came to mind; something that, to this point, I’d honestly never thought. “I only cry in the presence of people”, I said. “There’s something pathetic about humanity. I feel so terribly about their misery, discomfort, and vertigo. And, it’s disheartening to know with such certitude that every illusion they adhere to, even the dirty penny they find on the ground now shining brightly with meaning, will only worsen our condition.” I told her bluntly: “I cry at our lack. I’d think of Hopper’s paintings. While they’re most certainly illustrations, is there something missing? And, if so, how do we respond? How do we respond to lack? Can we only fill it in? Is this what my tears do? Do I seek to create more oceans? Is that what we need? Does the world need better swimmers?” Solitude is something for which I developed a preference; but, even in this bliss, I was prone to tears. Still verging.


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