“I have to stop crying on the way to work,” I think. This has become a weekly occurrence. This isn’t like me. I am not an angst filled late teenager/early twenty year old anymore. I’m no longer saddled with high interest credit card debt and wondering how I will make the rent. I don’t have to wonder anymore if he likes me or if he will call or if I slept with him too soon and I’ve lost his respect.
I’m in my early thirties. I’m successful professionally. I’m in a wonderful marriage. I drive a brand new car that will be paid off in less than a year. I’ve been to Europe. I’ve been to Asia. I have a very blessed life. I shouldn’t be crying. I haven’t cried with this sort of regularity for a decade.
This stretch of road through the flood plain that was saved from suburban sprawl due to its topographical undesirableness is too quiet, too straight. I don’t have to concentrate on the other cars. I don’t have to watch for pedestrians. I only have to keep the steering wheel straight and my speed under the limit; this road is a speed trap dream for cops. I only have to drive and think. It doesn’t matter if I tune the radio to morning DJ banter, NPR, or the seventies-eighties-nineties music station I am fond of, the thoughts come.
Of course crying on the way to work is much more preferable to crying at work. And as cries go, this is a pretty good one. There are tears, but no sobbing today, no cursing, no snotty nose blown into a fast food napkin. I won’t have to sit in the parking lot at work today and wait for my eyes to look less puffy, less red...which only works if you can stop crying. I won’t have to dash in the back door and into the nearest bathroom to splash cool water on my face to try and reduce the redness in my fair skin...which only works if you can stop crying. And there are days when I can’t stop crying.
I’m sorry to say that there have been days that I have cried at my desk. There have been days that multiple coworkers have asked me if I am OK. There have been days at work when I have done nothing but surf the Internet waiting for an appropriate time to leave. Days wasted Googling words like cyst, lupron, inhibin B. Days spent sending questions into the cyber universe like, “What are my chances of having another miscarriage? What are early pregnancy symptoms? Will I be able to adopt if my husband is in his forties?” I’m sorry to say that there are days I haven’t been able to make it to work at all.
No, today’s cry is a good one, only tears. Pretty tears like in a movie romance where the boy tries to drive the girl away by pretending he doesn’t care and she gets a hurt look on her face and a couple tears escape attractively from her professionally coal smudged eyes. He looks back and realizes she is crying and wipes away the tears, reaches out to her, and makes it all better with a Hollywood kiss. There is no one here to make it all better, but at least I can wipe away the tears, go into work and about my day with no one being the wiser.
I suppose this is how cancer patients feel. Powerless. Yes, there are treatments. Treatments with related odds, sixty percent success rate, forty five percent success rate, fifteen percent success rate. However, no one really knows why some treatments work and others don’t. No one knows why treatments that should work, fail. No one knows why sometimes those with the most dire cases recover and those with the most favorable prognosis, remain ill. Do cancer patients look at me, my health, with bitterness; the same way I look at pregnant bellies?
I’m sick of being infertile. In the car I think, “OK, I get it. I think I fully understand this life experience now. I’m ready to move on.” But it’s not that easy. This isn’t a designer handbag that I can save for and purchase. This is outside of my control. There is nothing I can do, but exist with this, and cry.