Someone had died. Either that or someone was dying. I realize the fact that I can’t remember which does not reflect well on me. What I do know is that she was crying. Of course, that knowledge is less of a reflection of how good my memory is and is more of a reflection of how often she was in tears. I know she was crying, not because I remember it, but because she was in an emotional state, and whenever Marci got emotional, tears sprang into her eyes the way light springs from a lamp. It didn’t matter what the emotion was, tears were always the result.
Sadness, naturally, led to crying, though it didn’t require much sadness. Movies or TV shows, ending an extended visit with friends or family, those commercials with the scrawny puppies, even finishing the last slice of a particularly delicious pie, all these would elicit tears—not weeping mind you, just tears; though on one date, a raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake at a restaurant managed to elicit enough moisture and sniffling that someone at the next table offered Kleenex. On this occasion, I am certain that the death (whether future or past) was more than enough to summon tears.
Anger could also make her cry. For a while, Marci was the only woman in the advertisements department of the radio station she worked at. Her boss had an infuriating habit of treating her like a secretary: demanding that she write up his memos, sign for his packages, and bring him coffee several times a day. All of this was carried out with a belittling tone and a leering eye which lingered on the hem of her skirt and the neckline of her blouse. She would leave work red-faced, and furious, but as soon as she started telling me about the latest indignity, the tears would come pouring out. Unfortunately, the combination also diminished the effect of her anger. On multiple occasions, she had tried to complain to her boss, but worked herself up so much that she started crying. Her boss would nod patronizingly, give a half-hearted apology, and then ask her to make copies of some documents. Once, she even tried to quit, but while listing off all her complaints, got so angry that her speech turned in to blubbering. Her boss attempted to quiet her down making several comments about hysterics and that time of the month, only making the anger and crying worse. So, the man guided her to her desk and told her to take it easy and not to rush on proofreading his reports. I may not remember who was dying, but while I was on the phone I do remember hearing her say that she was sick of my bullshit. With that sort of anger, I’m certain she was crying.
Happiness could make Marci cry too. Any gift, whether for a birthday, and anniversary, or Christmas, was guaranteed to make her eyes watery. She had actually cried when her boss was fired and remained teary eyed for an entire day when the management decided that she would be his replacement. There was a running joke with her family that she had ruined the pictures of her sister’s wedding because in every one of them, her eyes were puffy and her face bright pink. She had cried through the whole thing: the pictures, the ceremony, the toasts, the cutting of the cake, even while helping hold up her sister’s dress so she could pee. Apparently several guests who didn’t know Marci were extremely concerned, and some even wondered if there was some sort of improper relationship between her and the groom. Of course, close friends and family would just chuckle, knowing well how happy Marci was for her sister. I had hoped, even expected to see those tears of joy. I wanted her to be happy for me, but she wasn’t. That was why, whether Marci was crying or not, I didn’t follow her.