Who are you? Why are you crying?

Walking from the elevator bank into the lobby of my work building, I see a woman get off the elevator. She was on the 30th floor. She had a tissue poised under her eye to catch a tear. She had a cell phone to her ear. Her face frozen in one position. Her mouth flat-lining. As soon as I walked by her I heard start to break and sob as she walked further out of my earshot.

Who was she talking to? Does she always cry when she talks to this person? Did she call this person on her phone and not expect to cry? Did someone die? Is she getting a divorce? Did her boss just berate her? Did she just get fired? Is she having an existential crisis of ‘why do I work in this unventilated office building every day?’

Is the person on the phone with her a source of comfort or the person making her cry? If the person is her rock, is that person sick of being the rock? Did her rock just pull some tough love on her? Is the woman crying, someone who is overly empathetic? Is she in fact the rock and her friends sob story is making her cry?

Does she cry a lot at work? Did people roll their eyes when she ran out of the office with tissues and a cell phone? Did the receptionist instant message the accountant: omg! she’s at it again!

Is she talking to some guy that she broke up with that she promised she’d never call again and then she got lonely on her lunch hour? Is she talking to her boyfriend of many years and he’s saying he cheated? Is she calling her ex to say, “I’m really strong. I think we should be friends. I can handle it.” And he says, “Lady, I’m seeing someone else.”

Did she call to simply check her bank account and it’s overdraw for the third time this month…and even though she wears silk suits her personal accounts are impossible for her to have clarity about?

Is she an alcoholic who is trying to remain calm about the fact that she has to attend a lunch meeting at a bar and her sponsor was so soothing over the phone that she had to just cry?

Is she on the phone with her mother who is saying, “When you are going to slow down with the career and find a man?”

Did her doctor call with bad test results? An STD? Breast cancer? Skin Cancer? Ovarian Cancer? Oh, no. Not AIDS? I’m pregnant? What? Oh joy! Happy tears of joy! And a few tears of terror but I’m going to pretend they are all joy.

Did she get the call from the place she interviewed 3 times at and just knew she landed and they called to say that they’ve offered the position to someone else?

What does she think about crying? How did she feel about me seeing her cry? How often does she cry? Is this woman a manipulative psycho who needs to sympathy? Or is this the first time she’s ever really let herself break and be vulnerable. If she was in therapy it would be her breakthrough.

If you have any information about this woman, please contact me at 555-nosey.

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