There’s this thing. I need to know if it happens to everyone, or if I am a freakshow.
The thing is that sometimes, quite often actually, something makes me start crying. Silent tears fall against my cheeks like the rupee against the dollar. There is no perceptible sound, but the tip tap top of the teardrop as it leaps off the tip of my chin into the rest of the world. Slowly my eyes turn red. And my eyelids become swollen. My nose feels uncomfortable and hot, and wonders whether it should join in mourning the unknown corpse.
This is not the strange bit (if even this is strange, please don’t tell me, I have a weak heart). The strange bit is that people around me do a fantabulous job of pretending not to notice. They ask me questions and I turn my face towards them to answer. I can hear the tremble in my voice, and they can see the dampness of my chubby cheeks. But they keep talking like everything is ok. I don’t know if I could do that…
When I am done crying, salt deposit on my cheeks acts like starch. I can hear cracking sounds if I try to stretch my mouth into a smile. I hate to think Ma will misunderstand why I was crying today. I hate even more to think she’ll understand exactly why.