My memory is frighteningly good. I can remember instances from my early childhood in more detail than many people remember their ATM pin numbers. I remember state capitals, the days of the week when momentous moments occurred, how to recite the alphabet backwards when an officer pulls me over for suspicion of drunk driving. I can even remember what it felt like to fall down and get your knee all bloody when you were a kid. I remember it being automatic that you would feel the hard crash, look down and see the blood, and a moment later the tears would come out like a leaky diaper.
But at some point physical pain stopped making me cry. I’m not accusing myself of being a tough guy. I still cry every time I lose a hand in poker, but at some point tears did not seem the natural reaction for pain. Do our instincts change as we mature or are we slowly taught by the rest of society that crying as a reaction to physical pain is a sign of weakness?
So now when I fall off a cliff I scream. When a safe is dropped on my head by a rascally coyote I curse in many languages. When the pain pills wear off from surgery I am now more likely to laugh than to cry.