September 7, 2002

Marathon

I woke ridiculously early this morning given how little remained to be done. The mover is due in an hour and a half and the only things left to pack are the air conditioner (which will be last) and this computer. All the dishes are packed, so I’m eating my breakfast, a banana and peanut butter sandwich, off a manila folder.

I have a question about crying. Is a certain amount of crying necessary to complete the process of mourning, and if so, can it be completed in a single marathon session or must it be done in separate episodes spread out over time?

When I learned to type, I ignored the instructions that came with the program, which said to practice for no more than an hour a day, and instead typed eight hours a day for three weeks straight. Although this approach took longer in total hours, I reached proficiency in fewer days.

I realize there are people who don’t cry at all. What happens when they feel sad? Could it be they never feel sad? Perhaps they feel sad for a moment, then immediately do something to stop the feeling. I know that while packing, I would skip certain songs on the CDs I played. On hearing the opening notes of one, a wave of heaviness would flood my chest and I’d immediately hit the NEXT button. It’s not that I’m afraid of crying; it’s just that not every moment is a convenient time to lose it.

Two days ago in the gym, a song came on the radio about giving love one more chance. This left me no choice but to put down the weights I was holding, walk out of the room, and quietly weep on the stairs.

Because I packed all the utensils last night, I had to spread the peanut butter with my finger – a tricky process because the peanut butter tends to tear off little swatches of bread as you smear it.

I have to end here because it’s time to pack the computer. Now would be a convenient time to listen to sad songs and cry – who knows how long the mover will be? – but I already packed my CDs.