real men don’t cry

Real Men Don’t Cry


What’s that green slime oozing out of your ears? Don’t you think you should do something about it? Sponge it off before it runs down your neck? Stick plugs in your ears? See a doctor or hook up with a fortune teller? Move to Prague and take part in the uprising?

Maybe these aren’t helpful suggestions, but I can’t just stand here and say nothing, I wasn’t raised that way.

Maybe your liver is crapping out. Maybe you’re being eaten alive by envy. Maybe you’re Irish.

Go ahead, say something cute about the orange tears running down my cheeks, but it’s not the same thing.

And what will you do when the bus gets here? Do you have tokens? I’ll bet you’re one of those no-counts who ride around the free-ride zone all day because they have nothing better to do. Me, I’m loaded down with destinations, and I’ve got a wallet stuffed with twenties to prove it.

So why don’t I take a cab if I’m so flush, is that what you’re thinking? Can you see a cabby pulling over for a guy with orange tears running down his face?

I don’t know when they turned orange, the tears. It’s not like I cry all the time. Real men don’t cry. They could have turned orange and been sloshing around in my tear ducts since I was a kid. What took me by surprise wasn’t so much that they were orange when they finally spilled out, but that they were tears. There I stood with a towel wrapped around me after a hot shower, gawking into the mirror at orange tears running down a face lathered with shaving cream.

“Are you alright in there, dear?” my wife called in to me, and then she tapped on the door.

“Of course I’m alright!” I barked, but the tears kept coming.

This could turn into a delicate situation. You’re the first person to witness the tears. But don’t go thinking it’s the same thing as that green slime oozing out of your ears. It’s not. Not at all.

Listen, I’ll ride around the free zone with you for awhile, but then I’m going to transfer and head home where my wife will have supper on the stove. You could have a life like mine too, if you’d just get a grip and learn how to control the green slime.

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