I am a sentimental old fool


I think most of my friends and coworkers (and family too) think I’m pretty chilly.  I can be very snide.  I am unmoved by most sob stories.  Disasters make me shrug.



But small silly things make me tear up.



One of my coworkers has lots of her kid’s drawings pinned up on her office wall.  I noticed one with a big bright drawing that said, in crayon, at the bottom: LADYBUGS ARE PRETTY LIKE YOU, MAMMA.



I teared up.



Other waterworks moments:



        The (protracted) ending of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” as the huge bright alien ship descends.  I saw in at the end of my first trip abroad, in a theater in Copenhagen, and I was probably homesick, and I cried like a baby.

        The children’s story “The Cat Who Went To Heaven,” by Elizabeth Coatsworth.  Every time I describe the story to someone, I choke up.  I can’t even reread it now, because I’m afraid I’ll start bawling.

        The ending of the movie version of “Slaughterhouse-Five.”  Valerie Perrine is giving birth to Michael Sacks’s baby on an alien planet, and fireworks are going off, and the (invisible aliens) are cheering, and the soundtrack is Glenn Gould playing Bach.  It gets me every time.

        (This one is unbearably highbrow:) The entry of the chorus, ppp, in the finale of Mahler’s “Resurrection” SymphonyAlso the whole twenty-minute first movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony; I can’t even listen to it anymore, it breaks me up too much.



So I am human, perhaps, after all.



(One afterword: I told my coworker how moved I was by her kid’s drawing of the ladybug.  She guffawed. “Oh, that’s a good one,” she said.  “He drew that because he wanted to butter me up to ask for something.”)



Apollonia is right.  I’m a chump.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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