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In 2019, I have finally learned to cry. I’ve shamelessly cried into my floured hands while listening to the Frank Ocean playlist on Spotify, the outer layer of the soft, buttery dough I stopped rolling out straight-up drying from exposure. I’ve cried in the car before work, down in a dimly lit garage that wept on its own accord from a burst pipe. The pipe and I cried together and left the sick gray concrete floors stained with tears. I’ve cried in my boss’ office from frustration, anger, and pain, completely lost in what role I was supposed to play, wounded employee or whiny crybaby or conniving shit. I’ve cried in dark theaters next to friends, not loudly, but dabbing away tears as fast as I could with the clump of napkins I’ve hoarded in my purse, Chipotle, McDonalds, a pho restaurant from three years ago. I balled them up and threw them in the trash as we left, a quick, discreet toss.

Tears during Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse? Who the hell do you think I am?

I’ve cried before bed. I’ve cried in the shower. I’ve cried washing my face. I’ve cried putting on makeup. I cry about the future and its vast possibilities or its dark void of missed opportunities. I cry about today and about tomorrow and about yesterday. I cry over sick news stories and comic books. I cry reading creating nonfiction and even harder reading novels. I cry for former versions of myself that are still housed within the layers of my identity. I cry for the person I was and the person I have yet to become.

I cry for the person I will never be.