I’m exhausted. I got three dark scenes out of the way, all at once. It’s good to have them visible, on the page. I covered heavy stuff: a couple about The Bomb and quitting orchestra because my friends said they were going to. I was able to get to one “light” conclusion of The Bomb story, at least one part of it. The other loosely connected part will hang as a loose end to carry forward into the future and (if I get around to it) a later volume. I’ll pick up the orchestra thread when I write again tomorrow — or probably the next day. I have yet another eye exam tomorrow and must endure more dilation. Yet another reason not to write?

I’m fascinated by the way reliving these scenes on the page is so powerful. As I wrote about unexpectedly facing Mr. Pinkerton, the orchestra teacher, after he learned that I’d dropped out, my eyes filled with tears at the strong feeling that I’d let him down. I knew it then, and felt it even more deeply now. I don’t think I cried at the time. I don’t remember ever crying as a girl. I kept it all inside.

When and how did I learn not to cry? I never thought about that. I’m going to let that question simmer and float around, and I’ll bet that in a day or few, the answer will bubble to the surface. As I think about the question, I hear Franke Valli and the Four Seasons singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” But for sure I didn’t learn it from that song. It came out in 1962 when I was about to graduate. If you want to listen, click here. It comes on loud, so check your speakers before you click.