Until I was nine years old, I used to cry — not excessively, but the upper lip wobbled in the right circumstances. Then I saw a boy crying in assembly. Bawling, to be precise — red face, tears, snot. And I was disgusted. Above all, I thought he was an idiot for exposing himself so shamefully.

I vowed to quit crying altogether after that, and broadly I did well. There was the odd blip — at 15, I wept watching Baywatch in front of all my friends (Mitch’s girlfriend died of cancer). But such blips were rare. And that’s the way I like it now, at 40. I know it isn’t healthy, but bottling it up seems like a small price to pay for self-respect. I am quite proud of my heartless exterior.

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