Sunday, May 02, 2004

Things that make me cry and things that do not.

Patients dying, on the whole, do not make me cry.

A person who faces their death from something nasty, like a glioblastoma (a particularly evil form of brain tumor) with humor and grace makes me simultaneously happy and sad, but not to the point of crying. Wait: I take that back: One patient greeted the news that the entire left side of her brain had been taken over by a tumor with the observation that things could be worse. That made me tear up, laugh out loud, and finally fall into bed next to her, where we spent the next half hour talking.

Sometimes my coworkers make me so angry I'd like to toss their bodies into the alley behind the building, but only once have I actually broken into tears at work (and that was this past week, actually).

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" makes me cry. Reliably. So much so that if I feel in the need of a good howl, I clear my Sunday night schedule (or Thursday night, when there's a rerun on) and sit down on the couch with ice cream and a box of Kleenex.

My old job used to make me cry. In that job, I talked to women and men of all ages about sex, genetics, cancer, pregnancy, abortion, general health issues, STDs including HIV, domestic abuse, rape, and anything else they wanted to bring up. I used to head to the bar straight from work on a semi-regular basis.

This job doesn't have that perk. When you're a sexual health counselor, you have something tangible to fight against: stupidity or fear or ignorance. When you're working with people who have brain troubles, the enemy is intangible, or so completely beyond anything you can do, that you go home simply tired out to your toenails.

Stories of cruelty to animals make me cry. I then get so angry that I want to kill someone. The one case of cruelty to a helpless human being that I've run across so far in this job made me so angry I wanted to kill someone, but without the tears.

I'm certain that whoever abuses/neglects old people, children, or animals will go to a particularly hot spot in Hell. And I'm also certain that I will have a seat right up front so I'll get to watch 'em for all eternity.

When our coworker John died, I didn't cry. I wish now that I'd've been able to. I miss him an awful lot.

Assholes who don't call when they say they will don't make me cry. Instead, they make me work out elaborate and untraceable revenge plots.

You'll be sorry, Man B. I just got this month's "Smithsonian" magazine, which includes an interesting article on obscure natural poisons. That'll teach you not to call.

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