Emmet Henson

Life has so many wonderful experiences to offer. Like sleep. Or ingestion and evacuation. But I find life offers few opportunities more rewarding than screaming like a maniac until your voice cracks with the strain, so that the entire universe can share in your distress. That's what life is all about, right? The sheer exhilarating thrill of nonstop crying at the top of your lungs. It's such an important part of why we are here—why would anybody ever want to do anything else?

Don't get me wrong—I like squirming, drooling, and sporadically attempting to focus on colors and shapes as much as the next guy. But of all the various activities one can choose to pursue in life, crying is tops as far as I'm concerned. In my opinion, I find nothing is more fulfilling than a good steady holler. It takes no experience to begin, and within moments, all one's needs are instantly met! It's my favorite part of the day.


Heck, I'm crying right now!

I suppose some people might enjoy wasting their days with sleep or gentle cooing, but not me. No, sir. Not when there's all that fantastically loud crying to do. In fact, I love crying so much, sometimes I wish I could be awake 24 hours a day, just to hear the crying I miss out on hearing when I am asleep. I mean, I assume I cry in my sleep, too. Whoa. There's a strange thought: What if I stop crying for a moment when I'm asleep? That would be tragic.

Yes, there's nothing like a good, healthy, air-raid-siren-style bellow to renew one's red-faced passion for living. What you want, I've found, is to pitch your voice at about the decibel level of your standard jet engine and then hold it as long as possible before taking in air. That's the sweet spot right there. That's the ideal volume for a good cry—the kind of crying that isn't so much melancholy or sorrowful as it is a full-throttle roar of earsplitting shrillness.


It's so easy. Getting started can be as simple as being startled by your own hand.

In my opinion, anyone who isn't screaming his lungs out is just letting life pass him by. You'd think, after seeing how happy crying makes me, people would follow my example. But all around me there are tall, shadowy figures who seem to actively avoid the most pleasurable part of existence. Everywhere I look I see them: standing behind my stroller as they walk around town, or leaning in over me in my crib and making faces. Whole loads of people, not crying. Don't they realize what they're missing?

Look, I'm not a purist. I understand there are times when it might be perfectly acceptable to stop crying. Like when something is placed in your mouth for you to suck on. Or when somebody jiggles you for 40 seconds. Both are perfectly understandable and justifiable reasons to stop crying momentarily. But to be completely silent for more than, say, a minute? That's just crazy.


Take my parents, for example. If it wasn't for my tireless efforts, they'd sleep through the night! Can you believe it? I don't think it's because they're too old—I suppose I don't know how old they are exactly, but I can't imagine it's any more than, say, one. They've still got plenty of life in them. Yet they hardly ever cry, and when they do, it's usually softly, in the middle of the night, and exhausted-sounding. What happened to their lust for life? Don't they realize that every moment they waste sleeping, fiddling with the car seat, or holding picture books in front of my face is precious time they could be screaming their heads off?

How can I get them to embrace life and really make the most of wailing like a mythical banshee for hours on end?

I just don't understand these people—and not only because I have yet to grasp the concept of others as separate selves outside of me. Don't they know that all they'd have to do is take a good deep breath, let her rip, and the air would be filled with glorious noise? They can't be having a good time just sitting there, grinning slightly, and communicating through facial expressions and this bizarre series of coded grunts I have yet to decipher.


What do they spend their time doing? Comprehending spatial relations? I'd die of boredom in a minute. They must've been young once. Surely they can still remember the good times they had, splitting the very air with sonic knives of nigh-unendurable intensity. I would hate to think that someday I might be so jaded and cynical as to turn my back on wriggling and panting for breath, using every ounce of my being to emit a general, undifferentiated distress signal to all within earshot.

Spending entire days without crying? Why, it goes against the very thing that makes us human.

God, I hope I never become like them.