• Gina Dang

How Long Does an Idealist Cry?

I wish it were a unique experience, coming of age in a low-income, violent, immigrant household.

Excuse me a moment as I go wriggle and scrape myself free from another layer of skin I outgrew, a layer of sadness I kept close because I once cared for it and feared where it would go if I did not provide it a home with me. My sadness became a propensity for self-loathing, an expansion of fertile distance between my happiness and me. Look, false hope comes in a variety of weights and sizes, siblings and children lined up along the Freedom Crow trail. Unborn, they leave their suffering for me to endure. To do it, I enable my weaknesses, three-legged dogs, lost boys, and all things broken. Imagine a blind and deaf dog, chasing its tail and whimpering for attention. Imagine a 32-year-old, bearded boy curled into his sheets and sobbing for his mother. Is the scene not adorable? Is it not maddening?

They are adorable when I see in them the sadness I inherited, a sense of guilt that any good that comes is an unearned spoil I must deny to maintain a modest and mediocre identity, the perfect equilibrium of public joy and private self-hatred. Is it not true that broken people come from broken homes? How do I fashion an environment of sustainable comfort without a model to emulate?

Berlin Nightclub Dancefloor - The Freedom Crow

Plastic, wood, glass, and flesh all break in special ways. Accustomed to standing unflinchingly as forces come hurdling and materials come colliding into fantastic rosy display, at times, I miss the chaos. The brief silence of the aftermath holds a foreboding presence, often heavy like the density of sky before a torrent of wind and rain, making you wonder from which direction it will hit and fall next.

I recognize when people break in public, when they try to hide behind words and flitting gestures as shards of plastic, wood, glass, and flesh fall from their sides. Watch me when I dance, the continuous duck and sweep of every inch between floor and ceiling. Hands, feet, elbows, knees, shoulders, hips, and spine flung to their fullest arch to tense and snap back, weaving between bodies on the floor. I dance until I catch fire, the only way I know how to transform the pieces, incinerating them with me, so we safely return to the cycle. Nothing compares to the bewildering ease and comfort of stripping my spirit bare in front of an audience. Break, sweep, incinerate, and lament. Applause.

Would you like some good news? You can only cry for so long until you notice how tired you are from sweeping up other people's shards. No ceremonious closing. No encore. 26 years is enough. I am done. Simply done.

I left my sadness in a song. I let it rise lightly on the edges of me, where only music can bring it to light, so it may break and sweep itself, while I continue to dance. Somewhere under my feet, if you listen closely, you may hear something beating, something humming, the vibrations of the underground. There is no use crying over what never lived.


#trauma #healing #hope #recovery #creativity #FCTrail

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