When David was a child, he never cried. Not over his scraped knees or when other kids would take his toys or when his parents were upset with him. He was sad and he'd frown and pout, but he never cried. Not when he was in middle school and he ripped his pants and got laughed at by the whole school or in high school when he had his heart broken for the first time. Instead, he cried while asleep, waking up to a wet pillow and a pruny face. It was like emotional snail mail, like his tears got the news a little later than the rest of him.
David didn't cry on the day all fourteen of his mothers died of cancer. He could tell by the looks in his well-wishers' eyes that they expected him to, that some of the harsher of their numbers thought him heartless. He wasn't. He had a hard time staying awake and a hard time falling asleep and when his hands weren't balled into fists they would tremble, so he kept them clenched at his sides, rock hard and stone still. But for all his suffering, he didn't cry.
David couldn't sleep that night, greeting the day from the wrong side of dawn. It wasn't until the next night, when his exhaustion finally stilled the images of all his mothers' faces swimming through his mind that he was finally able to sleep.
And he wept, his pillow growing wet and his face growing pruny. This was for his first mother. And he wept, his mattress soaking his tears like a sponge. This was for his second mother. And he wept, his sheets and blankets becoming wet and heavy, his body growing pruny. This was for his third mother. And he wept and wept, until his bedroom was filled with tears, a saltwater aquarium, for all the mothers after.
Still sleeping, David drifted out his window, carried by a wave of tears. His tears swept him through the streets and into the city. David woke when his tears dropped him abruptly on the pavement.
David asked his tears why they had carried him there and the tears said that everyone went to the city. David said not him, that he had no business in the city and the tears asked if he wasn't happy there. David said no, the city held no particular joy for him. The tears asked where he would be happy. They said they could carry him there. Without his mothers, David said, he could only be happy in his dreams.
David's tears knew his dreams well, having lived there all of David's life, so they offered to take him back. They carried him back home, back to his now dry room, and placed him in his now dry bed.
For the first time while awake, David cried, and his tears carried him back to his dreams.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!