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May 12, 2014 / bekbekbekah

Can a Girl Just Cry in Peace?

Have any of y’all seen the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Deborah wants Ray and the kids out of the house but doesn’t really tell him why, so he snoops on her and sees her crying in the living room? And then he confronts her about it and all she can say in response is that sometimes you just need to cry, and she wanted to cry in peace?

(start around 13:53)

Well, that’s a thing. Or at least it is for me.

The past several weeks have been stressful for me, and what makes it awful is that I can’t put a finger on why it’s stressful. I mean, there are certain things – that I won’t discuss here because it’s just a bunch of little petty things that keep popping up that combined make me want to go crazy.

Last weekend was a weird mix of exciting and enjoyable (I got to see a friend play a show in Houston, I visited the ever lovely Valerie in College Station, and I go to see the Aggie baseball team win the series over LSU), and truly depressing (the aforementioned petty annoyances that keep popping up). With the weird mix going on, I had no idea what to do with my emotions, and the added stressor of being in the sunshine for the entire baseball game and being sunburned and maybe a little dehydrated, left me in an extra weird mood. When I got home around 10:30 that night Lisa and I started talking about our living situation once our lease at the Beige Castle is up, and she started talking to me about the possibility of not being roommates (not for bad reasons, just work and saving money reasons), which threw me overboard in the emotions department. I started crying, which is the worst thing, because I feel like it makes other people feel manipulated or just leaves them feeling super awkward, so I decided I needed to find some place that wasn’t the Beige Castle so I could go cry about everything in private.

Sidenote: I feel like people are too harsh on us people that cry. Yes, I know crying doesn’t do anything to fix the situation. Yes, I know crying doesn’t make something that’s physically hurting less painful. I get it. But my thoughts on the matter are these: you deal your way; I deal mine. I usually let myself cry everything out so that once I’ve got the emotion out of the way I can deal with things logically. If I deny myself the opportunity to feel something, the feelings start creeping into the decisions, and that’s when I start making bad decisions. If I let all the sadness or whatever out first, then I can look at things clearly and make the most logical choice. Basically.. don’t judge me for crying!

So I got in my truck and drove down the street to a park where I knew there was a quiet parking lot where I could cry and not disturb anyone. What I didn’t think about was that this park has a 9:30 curfew, even in the parking lot, and Bellaire police patrol the area like it’s going out of style. I parked my truck, let myself cry and be sad and all that good stuff. When the crying slowed down I picked up my phone and looked at some BuzzFeed posts while I finished up my crying. When I finally felt like I could go back to the house and be logical about things, I took a deep breath, wiped my face, put my hand on the key in the ignition, and saw a Bellaire police officer turn onto the street and slowwwwwwwwwwwwly pull into the parking lot parallel to mine and park. I removed my hand immediately because my clear-and-ready-for-logical-processes-mindset identified the only two options I had at the moment. 1) Turn my truck on, leave the parking lot as planned, and get pulled over by the cop down the road because he deemed my actions incredibly suspicious, or 2) Wait for the cop to approach me and ask me what I was doing because he deemed my actions incredibly suspicious.

I chose the latter of the two because I had nothing to hide, but I didn’t want to pull over in front of someone’s house and then have a bunch of people freaking out and calling people because someone was pulled over and they needed to know if “the suspect” was just speeding or if they were some sort of criminal threat.

Now you need to know, I’m always super wary of my own actions because I know that police officers can sometimes unexpectedly approach a very dangerous person, so then all of my actions are filtered through a will-this-make-them-think-I-need-to-be-tased filter, which I think shows on my face (I don’t have a poker face, folks), which then makes me look suspicious, which makes me want to behave more normally, and the cycle just feeds itself. I sat back and busied myself with my phone while playing out the inevitable in my head. First off, I thought about what I looked and sounded like.

I spent Saturday screaming at the Astros vs. Mariners game (we lost), I then went to my friend’s house and had to yell to be heard because everyone was talking and having fun, and then I screamed the entire game against LSU on Sunday (we won), so my voice was completely shot. I was sunburned from sitting in the sun and not being smart and putting sunscreen on. I hate driving with the windows up, so I had put my hair into a hap-hazard bun and driven the 1.5 hours back to my house doing nothing shy of 75mph so the baby hairs were sticking up every which way. I had just spent a good 20 minutes crying so my eyes were puffy, my cheeks were flushed on top of being burned, and I’m sure my eyes were a little bloodshot too. Because of the crying, I had let all my emotions out, and my face tends to look pretty blank in those times, and I was exhausted from the busy weekend, all the driving, the emotions, and the crying. I was wearing a tank top that I had slept in the night before, some loose cotton shorts, and my ridiculously bright blue and pink tennis shoes. Also, my skin is very sensitive to heat, and I often time break out with a heat rash on the inside of my elbows and knees, and I had been scratching at both basically all day, which only makes the itching worse. In short, I looked and sounded awful.

Once I took stock of my appearance I moved on to the questions I knew the cop was going to ask me:
Cop: Ma’am, may I ask what you’re doing here right now?
Me: Oh you know, I just needed a quiet place to cry. I’m frustrated about a lot of things, and my roommate and I just talked about not being roommates anymore, and I needed a quiet place to cry. You know, normal things.
Cop: [thinking.. This girl is crazy.] May I see your license?
Me: Yep. [Oh crap.. I haven’t updated my license since Lisa and I moved… in August… with the address clearly not in Bellaire…]
Cop: Why is this address incorrect?
Me: Uhhh.. Because I’m lazy and haven’t changed it.
Cop: Is there anything else going on right now? Why is your voice so hoarse? Why are you squinting so much at my mini-maglight that’s brighter than the surface of the sun? Why do you keep scratching your arm by your elbow?
Me: Uhhhhhh…
Cop: I’m going to need you to step out of the vehicle.
Me: [gets out]
Cop: [looks at outfit] Why are you even in public right now? I think I need to take you in.
Me: [Gets arrested… Well, at least I’ll have a good story from this…]

About that time I snapped out of the imaginary conversation and looked over but didn’t see his Charger. I looked in my side mirror right as he rounded the entrance to my parking lot with his floodlights on full blast. I rolled my window down and waited for him to park and approach. The following is as good of a transcript of our conversation as I can recall.

Cop: Is everything ok over here? What’s going on?
Me: [so. incredibly. hoarse.] Everything is good.
Cop: What are you doing here? [shines light into my eyes]
Me: [squinting hard] Oh my God that’s so bright. Good God. Sorry about my voice; I was at a baseball game earlier today.
Cop: But what are you doing in this parking lot?
Me: I live just down the street on Basswood.
Cop: But what are you doing here right now?
Me: Oh. [Wanting to give an answer that would give me an actual reason to not be crying in my own room, but not having the time to think about something, my best statement was:] My roommate and I got into a fight. [A fight? Really? That’s stupid, Bekah.]
Cop: Like a physical altercation?
Me: [stifling laughter at the idea of me and Lisa getting into a physical fight] What? God no. Just words. A word fight.
Cop: Did you feel threatened?
Me: What? Definitely not. I just wanted to remove myself and cry somewhere so I could have a clear head and apologize. [congratulates self on steering myself back to the truth.. kind of]
Cop: Can I see your license?
Me: [Hands him outdated license… Crap. I don’t want a ticket for this.]
Cop: How long did you say you lived here?
Me: Less than a year.
Cop: [returns license] Why’d you pick here?
Me: It was close by and I didn’t think I’d be disturbing anybody.
Cop: Do you not know there’s a curfew here?
Me: I thought about that, but I didn’t see any signs.
Cop: There’s one right there. [Points sunbeam at sign directly in front of my truck with the curfew clearly outlined in red]
Me: Well, so much for being observant. I promise I didn’t see that. It’s the only reason I parked here.
Cop: And you parked here just to cry?
Me: Yes, sir.
Cop: [sigh] How long were you planning on being here?
Me: I literally had my hand on my key when you turned onto Evergreen and I decided just to stay because I didn’t want you to think I was up to something shady.
Cop: Are you up to anything shady?
Me: No. I just said I was here because I needed to cry.
Cop: So you aren’t going to be here much longer? I don’t need to send another unit in 15 minutes?
Me: No. I’m tired and just want to sleep now. I honestly only stayed because I knew it would be interpreted as me being suspicious, and I figured it’d be easier to answer your questions in the parking lot than down the road.
Cop: Well, that’s actually a good thought. So you’re getting ready to leave?
Me: As soon as you clear me to leave I’m driving right back to my house.
Cop: Ok. Well, I’m just waiting to hear back from dispatch if you have any tickets or warrants. You don’t have any tickets or warrants right now, do you?
Me: [Laughing a little too heartily] HAHAHAHA!!! Oh my God.. None to my knowledge.
Cop: [Raises eyebrow]
Me: [Clears throat] No. I don’t.
Cop: [Shines light back into my eyes]
Me: Oh my God! Seriously that’s way too bright.
Cop: Alright, they aren’t showing anything on your record. You’re free to go.
Me: Thanks. Have a good night.

I turned my engine on, laughed at the sight of a second police cruiser that had apparently been called in for backup that I hadn’t noticed earlier, and drove home.

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