Tuesday, July 03, 2007

guest star gets angry


Rachel drove off for the Midwest this past Saturday, leaving me sans a jogging partner and daily confidant, but with a rather large and ugly glass vase. I treasure this present. It rolls around on the back seat of my car, reminding me of where I'm going.

As I think I've mentioned before, I don't get mad very often.

On occasion I have felt an icy wall of anger come down inside me. The person against whom the icy wall descends is so painfully reprehensible to me that I literally pray that the ground opens up and swallows them whole--their cars, their bank accounts, their Bibles, their skateboards, the benches on which they happen to be sitting. Unfortunately Nostalgia has been on the other side of the wall more than once, as has my ex-husband, my father, my sister, and most recently a man I went on a date with. But the story of that "date" is not being told here, not today.

When I'm seized with this icy anger to merely gaze upon the object of my hatred is beyond my power. Details of their humanity are obliterated from my consciousness: they cease to exist as humans with whom I have any common ground. I don't wish to harm them myself, that would include acknowledging them. God, on the other hand, is allowed--no, encouraged--to let any sort of natural catastrophe or disaster overtake them. Something along the lines of Numbers 16 where "the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the whole clan of Korah and their families and all their possessions." Ananias and Saphira also come to mind.

No, I don't think I have a problem with anger.

Many of my dear friends get mad far more often than I do, and they throw things when they're mad. I recall sneaking out with a package of cherry tomatoes to the alley behind Jenny's house and watching with bewilderment as she hurled the tomatoes at the garage door. She wanted to throw eggs, but had none. Other friends have tossed whole sets of china down stairwells, heaved carefully stacked piles of research papers across the room, dropped full bags of groceries off the balcony. I admire their artfulness, the passion of their protests, but never felt anything akin to it myself.

Lately I've found myself angry more often. And not at anyone particular, not even at God (a usual target), but at at small bits of life gone awry, the insensitive remark of an acquaintance, dreams that seem still too far from coming true. I threw my hair clip (yes, I know this is lame) with all the strength I could muster across my living room last week. It cheerily bounced off the venetian blinds and onto the floor, sadly causing no damage. When I told Rachel about the hair clip incident and she offered me the vase--a present that she's not had the heart to dispose of.

Today at work I was filled with a surge of anger over a rather insignificant oversight of one of my friends. I added it up with a few other like incidents and reached for my mostly-empty water bottle and pitched it with all my strength across the room. My office is cavernously large, so by the time it hit the bookshelf it made a unsatisfactory little "plink" and fell to the carpeted floor. I picked it up and threw it at the door. It made a louder noise. I walked over to a pile of boxes and books and started throwing it at them with all my might. That dumb water bottle would not break.

But I have a vase that's waiting for a good throw.

16 comments:

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness I love this post! The whole thing--the elaborately imagined natural disasters that only God would bother with, the rage meets hair clip, the water bottle that won't break. This is so well-written, and so funny, and so totally human. THANK YOU Amber you've inspired me to take some eggs out to the back alley.

Jenny said...

"Bring more evils upon them . . . bring more evils upon them that are glorious on the earth . . ."

Anonymous said...

if the water battle did not break, you should go home and break that vase with a jack hammer, that will do

toru

Anonymous said...

by the way, I love this title

toru

Jenny said...

You're raking in the comments with this one. I can't wait 'till Red sees it. Red, if you're out there, PLEASE post! I just have this feeling it is going to tickle her funny bone as it did mine . . .

Lucy said...

Clearly, I'm raking in the comments from my two faithful readers, you and Toru....

Ser said...

Let me contribute to the pile of comments that you are raking up, since I consider myself a faithful reader. Although I can't quite understand only now in life coming to the realization that it is fun to throw stuff when you are mad. Isn't this one of those things most people figure out when they are in kindergarten?

Jenny has it with the eggs--so satisfying, and cheap, too. Red delicious apples against a very hard surface are nice. Peaches, perhaps?

Red said...

Thought of you today when I came across the first casuality of my move - a small broken plate. I was almost thrilled to find this little disaster, as if it comfirmed my growing conviction that no amount of careful attention and planning prevents destruction. But then again, Calvin packed the box that contained the casualty, so I could just blame the whole mess on him and chuck the still-whole plates at him. Hum...so much to think about and no Lucy to discuss it with while jogging in the morning. What's a girl to do?

Lucy said...

Ah, other things to throw: apples, peaches, other people's plates. Lookout Crestwood, all the things I can throw.

I think the reason it's taken me this long to have this revelations is two-fold: 1) I like my things, I don't want to ruin them. 2) When I was little my dad used to bang things around in the house when he was mad, breaking stuff. I guess I always assumed this showed his weakness and inability to control himself. I would look at the broken chairs, dented doors, and smashed vents with embarrassment. I guess my dad never learned that you should break things you don't have to look at everyday. Things like peaches.

Jenny said...

Eagerly awaiting guest star's next post.

Seraphim said...

well I logged in with gmail for
the first time in years lets see
if it works? Hi...well...what?
very nicely written and felt
and thought and a pleasure and
it makes me think about anger...
perhaps I am more prone to self
pity? are anger and selfpity on the
same continuum sort of one or the
other? or both I guess if one is
somehow so energetic but...I havent
I think allowed myself a lot of
selfpity just lately but it is more
my possibilty...my shadow side...
well... anyhow thank you for giving
me the address to your fine
web log, yours
+Seraphim

Jenny said...

Hey Lucy,

Does the guest star do anything other than get angry?

Lucy said...

yes, like today: guest star floats around thinking about roses and getting embarrassed. I promise I'll post again soon. I just have a ton to do before my trip out west!

Nostalgia said...

Well, I don't want to pressure...yes.... just a warning: no posting in a long time might be a sign of cirtain kind of relationship... ;)

Lucy said...

nothing like, oh, "she's been on vacation" or "the new potter book is now available" now is it?

better, really, not to call this thing dogging me a "relationship"--perhaps an "experiment"?

Nostalgia said...

ha-ha-ha! :) I'm just missing you blogging, you know that!