This week I refrained from crushing a surly cashier, even though the Dr. Pepper cases stacked behind him into an Olympic torch were the perfect weapon. I showed immense restraint, and I would like a cookie as a reward. I didn’t even speak harshly to him, although I silently called him a marrow-sucking cluster of rat filth scraped from beneath a refrigerator. I could have come up with something better, but my ice cream was melting. And what thing did this blemish on the butt of Tom Thumb do? Not a single damn thing except for being a bit snotty about my rewards card, which might have been a little bent if you want to get technical, so in the eyes of some pedantic people it could have, maybe, been kind of my fault.
So, I was nice to him, even though I wanted to pull out his entrails, wrap them around my shoulders, and have someone drive me up and down the street while I stood on the hood and screamed, “I’m the King of the World!” I even thanked him after I bagged my own groceries, so yes, god damn it, I deserve a cookie.
I don’t often have this anger problem, but this week my brain has decided I need to be enraged at each individual molecule in the 46 billion light years-wide observable universe. I have a separate grudge against each one of them. My brain decides to do this once in a while. I think this irrational anger phenomenon is well known to many of us who have brains. It may happen a little more to some than to others, but I’m not sure that makes much difference. One thing I am sure about is that I’ve been on alert for anyone who screws up in some tiny way, so I can leap on him like a tiger with a chainsaw tied to each leg. When no one is around who might provoke me, I spend time imagining situations in which I’d be justified in being so mean to someone that they would just cry for the rest of their life.
But I haven’t been acting on those things either.
I have been vicariously enjoying expressions of inappropriate rage. Last night a woman on live TV said something that got bleeped. Even though her gaffe was just a couple of seconds long, I told my wife I thought the woman said, “Jesus g*d d**n f*****g Christ on a m***********g crutch!” My wife patted my leg but didn’t say anything. She’s seen my brain like this in the past, and she doesn’t even look up anymore unless I swear using at least five curse words, two bodily functions, and a barnyard animal.
I try to be nice to people when I’m like this. Just because my brain is mean as a Gila monster, being randomly cruel to people is unfair. It’s not that I really care about what’s fair, or about most people either, but I have learned that acting angry doesn’t help me much in most cases. I say stupid stuff I don’t mean, and I have unhappy, resentful people to deal with afterwards. It’s like building a chemical volcano in the living room. It’s fun for a minute or so, but a whole lot of mess to clean up for the next few days.
So far this week, I’ve refrained from excoriating, assaulting, and murdering about 150 people, so what do I do with all that anger I’m not expressing? Exercise? Scream when I’m looking at Facebook? Grow an extra organ from the stress? Those sound pretty good, except for the organ one, but I believe that anger and creativity make a fantastic combination. When I’m deranged with fury, that is the time to do something creative. For example, I’m rewriting a story now. In this past week the villain has gone from being cruel to being nasty, vengeful, and horrific. Even better, the hero was a nice, creative guy who was reckless. Now he’s a nice, creative guy who’s reckless and happy to plot the murder of someone just because that person might kill him first. It’s a family story.
Soon I expect my brain to stop vibrating with anger and sending out waves of fury to bounce around inside my skull. That’s less fun than it sounds, and it doesn’t exactly sound like Jim Beam and a hayride. Until then, I’ll see if I can incorporate some more vindictive rage into my story. Also, when I’m around real people, I’ll catalogue the ways in which I could make them regret existing in the same universe as me, all while smiling at them and maybe saying nice things about their shoes.
This sure is a lot of fun. To hell with the cookie. I want a trip to Vegas. And a pony.