Saturday, May 9, 2009

Crying in Paradise

I have discovered I have no filter to deal with crying. There is no crying in the Hitch household. In fact, that is not true. I cry during movies. In Shallow Hal, a movie where Jack Black only sees people's inner beauty, there is a short scene where Jack Black realizes that the young girl he saw as beautiful is actually severely burned on her face. I cried at that last night. Come on, if you don't cry at that you must have a heart of stone. Well I've seen the movie before and in the Hitch household if you cry at this you get made fun of by your wife and children. Evidently, if you are watching this with Dinah and Denzel, you get made fun of too. Enough said.

In fact, the Hitch household is a cauldron of testosterone. The first night I was home in Columbus in April I went to see Lucas fight three black belts in a row at his karate class. In the fight before his, a guy had his arm broken. The next week I took Lucas to the Olympic Training facility in Lake Placid, New York. During the week of his Luge camp one of the participants had her arm broken. There is no crying. You only gain through pain.

For the last six months I have been living with one or two Samuelson sisters. Evidently, in the Samuelson house crying is a past time. As I said, I have no filter to deal with this. I don't know what to do.

On my first day living with Leah a flood of tears erupted from the accidental stepping on of a small lizard. Then there was the crying about the disparaging remarks made about a new friend. Occasionally, I have had to witness Dinah crying because she "misses her family and friends," or because "she is too slow at work." Or perhaps understandably when she was pulled over by the police for driving while being too young and pretty.

But crying never makes any sense to me. I don't get it.

This last week Dinah slammed her knee into a sea urchin while snorkeling. For the last few days she has had to cut open nasty, pusy keloids with an Exacto knife to remove the tips of urchin spines from her flesh. Pus by definition is a yellow-white, more or less viscid substance produced by suppuration and found in abscesses or sores. No crying. A couple weeks ago she ran into fire coral while snorkeling and got a severe burn on her hip. No crying. When she first arrived here she had two hundred or more mosquito bites all over her legs. Ok, I think she cried about this. But you get my point.

I just don't have a filter to process it. If you can take a potentially toxic sea urchin sting, I think you ought to be able to man-up to missing your friends.

Anyway, Leah Samuelson graduated with a degree in Urban Studies: Arts and Transformation from Eastern University today. The murals that she painted on Grand Turk in February and March formed the core of her masters thesis. Yesterday, I finished editing an article that we are publishing on her theory of transformational community art. During the graduation ceremony, today, she had to draw a picture on stage while another student was speaking. I know from experience that finally graduating from a graduate level program is one of the biggest days in your life. All my congratulations go to Leah. But I am wondering, did she cry?

1 comment:

James said...

Were you crying while you wrote this? I think so :-)