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Scent of Salt

Tears & Weakness

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023


Tears, what a lovely thing. Whether it be their scent or their warmth, I welcome them with open arms. They remind me I’m alive, and my heart can still feel. They visit me so rarely I find their presence like an old friend’s. I doubt it’ll ever truly be dull day when they take the time to give me their whole company, no matter how sullen their cause.

I’ve come to wonder what my fascination is with them. The act itself of shedding tears is quite profound as I’ve learned their reasons are often true and compelling, but I’ve noticed that people, no matter the gender, are disgusted by them. They’re repulsed by a man who cries, yet one of their favorite verses is “Jesus wept.”

Maybe I’m beginning to understand their fear of emotion. Too few tears and I’m inhuman; too many and I’m weak. Is it any wonder, then, why crying ought to be done in silence and solitude?


I’ve learned the hard way to be wary of those who so easily say, “Open your heart to me; vulnerability is healthy.” They may as well say aloud, “I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” as they’re often the first to weaponize your tears the moment it stings you the most.

Women wonder why men will not cry, tell them secrets, or be vulnerable in front of them when they openly use it as a weapon to "win" an argument. Men wonder why their emotional intelligence is so lacking, and why they resort to violence to defuse their feelings when they torment those who show any amount of it.

Maybe women should ask themselves whether they’ve ever stored for future use or have used someone’s vulnerability against them simply to make certain their discontent burned. Maybe men should ask themselves if bottling up every emotion until they explode in rage is healthy for the wellbeing of themselves and others.

Regardless of gender or stereotypes, if utilizing someone’s sensitivity or physical violence is how you solve problems, then you’re nothing but a coward and a slave to the whim of your emotions.

You’d like to know what I’ve learned as a man? It’s better to cry in solitude, or better yet not at all, than to show anyone your weakness. I’ve learned that no one is exempt from employing your feelings against you, no matter how deeply the connection might be rooted. The truth of the matter is, many will not hesitate to twist a knife into your spine when it suits them the most, whether that's out of thoughtless reaction or strategic gain.

The world did not teach me this, people did—man and woman alike.

As a message to all of those who’ve used my vulnerability against me in the past, you’ve shown nothing but your own fragile character and the sheer lack that follows it. I’ll still weep in silence, and I’ll not tarnish my own heart for a better judgment from the likes of you.

The tears I shed are mine and mine alone. Those who wish to share in my suffering borne by them, if only to bask in the smell of their salt and the perception of my pain, can kindly go to hell. Such a pity they cannot see the beauty in them. I’d rather be selfish of their loveliness than risk their use against me. I greet tears with open arms, but I’ll be damned if anyone is to see them.

Translation I: To weaponize something like tears, secrets, or emotion (the thing that binds us all as humans) is a coward's tool. If we employ them in any manner to hurt others, we must lie still and know that all of humanity's shame rests on our shoulders. WE must be better.

Translation II: Arguments are not for our own petty feelings of victory, especially in terms of "winning by any means necessary." They're to learn and grow with whomever we're arguing, let alone with ourselves. They are an opportunity to be better!

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