If there are two things I learned in college, then always listen to Becky Boggus is one of them and the other one is something about DNA but I never remember if it’s 5′-3′ or the opposite of that. When I hugged her the last Sunday, I was unsuccessfully fighting back tears (which were entirely because Deborah). She sort of grabbed my shoulders post-hug and looked at me in my watery and also squinty glasses-eyes (that week was rough, okay?) and said, totally no nonsense, “you have to cry about this”. I get it Becky. I have to make sure that I don’t add leaving Waco to the list of things I’m repressing anger about, because when the anger explodes it will be messy and gross and the last time anger like that exploded things went badly. “Of course I will, Becky. What do you think the five hour drive is for?”.
Here’s my secret: I cried six tears. I counted them. Painting my walls with my mom I allowed six tears to fall down my face. It was at this point that I leaned my forehead against the wall and painted my bangs green by accident. The tears dried.
They’ve been dry for some time now. They got turned into carefully repressed anger (okay, think about rule number one and realize at this point that I’m an idiot). I cried over other things. I cry every time I yawn, and a lot of times it messes up my mascara. That counts. I cried a little all the times I threw up, because I hate throwing up. I cried a little bit while I was reading Francis Schaeffer, because it’s so perfect. I cried when I read Prince Caspian because that’s just what I do when I read that book. Always. (the precise moment of the tears is when Lucy can’t wake up the trees. Don’t know why but it’s waterfalls).
I didn’t cry for Waco (I cried six tears for Waco). I promised Becky I would and then I decided Becky was wrong. And that was working for me. This Saturday? It was the best day I’ve had since I graduated. I felt like my life was finally coming together. This Sunday? By one pm the meltdown was in full force. I didn’t cry at church but that was mostly the mad (and actually I don’t want to talk about it. But it wasn’t fun). And then I come home and it’s like “how was church Jennifer?”
*cries so much*
*causes mother to cry*
*cries guilt tears*
*cries more Waco tears*
*laughs because amount of crying is officially excessive and headache has set in*
Mother: what on earth?
Daughter: Can I turn John MacArthur off?
Those were Waco tears. I can call them a thousand other things. I could tell you that I was crying because other Jen was crying or because the sermon pissed me off or because I have a test tomorrow and I can’t sleep anymore (it’s two AM and I’m blogging because I can’t sleep). But they were Waco tears. Because you know what? For a moment at the most lovely coffee shop on Saturday night I let myself think this thought:
Self: tomorrow after college hour we should all go eat at…
Self: nope. Nope that is false.
Self: this is what we call the danger triangle of thoughts
Self: we can have fun tomorrow but we can’t bring Sam, Caroline or Rebecca
Self: and Becky will not be there
Self: I’m gonna sob about that at the slightest provocation. But tomorrow so it’s sneaky.
Self: And I’m provoked mostly when you’re pissy.
Sam: Y’all should go, you have to drive
Self: Moment over. But when you get mad I’m going to absolutely unleash.
Which brings us to Sunday and mad me (so much mad me. but that’s a different story that I’m not going to tell you probably ever) finally crying all of the Waco tears. And which also brings us to the good news which is
I AM GOING TO BE IN WACO FOR THE NEXT TWO SUNDAYS
and spare me the speech about needing to be present here. What I need is a break. Do you know how much energy it takes to walk into a church where no one knows you? I can HEAR Caroline telling me that it’s worth it. But I can’t deal with that today. When you’re used to Woodway…it’s like scaling a mountain wearing stilettos and also you’re just completely intoxicated. And there are bears afoot. Why that analogy? No idea but it seems like a big task.
I love my friends. Lauren Jen and Nate are great and they are Woodway friends and they are enough sometimes. I love my new school friends also. They are so incredibly nice and welcoming and they don’t make me hike up mountains drunk in heels with bears ( I need to clarify. That didn’t actually happen in real life. Just an arbitrary analogy). Those friendships just sort of happened. And I’m a fan.
What is the difference? Because I have no idea what the difference is.
Making friends in Waco: hey I just met you and this is crazy but COMMON GROUNDS DATE AND LET’S BE BESTIES OMG ICM
Making friends in class here: You and I are going to cut up a person together. Let’s get along while we do it. Also you seem cool. Thanks for remembering my birthday and getting me a gift card to my favorite restaurant. And also for knowing that my laugh is wheezy.
Making friends at church here: I suddenly have no idea what my hands usually do other than pick at my obviously extraneous backpack. Also I am suddenly so shy it might be clinically diagnosable.
^maybe I’m the problem. Maybe I should be part of the solution (sometimes good advice is tricky). Maybe I should purchase a lighthouse, some cats, and a scrying glass and just go be a hermit.