How to Stop Crying

Heather Christle at The Paris Review:

Emily and I exchange techniques to stop crying. There comes a time, we say, when one is simply not in the mood. Pick a color, she tells me, and find every instance of it in the room. I pick blue. I pick dark green. One day I call her and say that if I start to cry I want her to squawk like a chicken. When my voice starts to shake she panics and quacks like a duck. Then I am laughing and crying all at once—wet and loud and thankful—and it feels as if my heart has turned itself inside out.

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There are other ways to stop. One day, reading Joan Didion, I learn a new method:

It was once suggested to me that, as an antidote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in Wuthering Heights with one’s head in a Food Fair bag.

more here.

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