Subway Musings

Who would you be if you weren’t angry? I responded that I didn’t know and as the days pass by that ideal individual appears elusive. I find that everything makes me rage internally and want to slam people’s heads into walls. Inconsiderate people on the train who never take their backpacks off so that it bumps into me the entire ride. Oblivious people who chew and snap their gum at eight in the morning without any thought to the people around them. Gross people who eat an entire salad with their mouths open in a public cafeteria. Selfish people who only look out for their interests and dump work on other people because they can’t manage their own. People who are always late. People who defend rapists and molesters because “he’s done so much good!” or “he’s such a brilliant artist!”

I don’t know if I will ever be able to let go of all the anger and rage inside of me. As one friend said to me, “If you did that I don’t know what would be left.” Even my first dentist saw it: “Plaque is all of the bad making its way out of you,” he said before remarking on my plaque build-up. You both jest, but I see the truth in those words and look down at this seething, thrashing, and hissing creature of darkness in my hands whose claws are sinking into my flesh and the gaping hole in my chest from where I extracted it and wonder if I should just put it back. Who would I even be without this parasite greedily feeding off of me and releasing its toxic hate and anger back into me? How would I be able to interact with the world? How would I protect myself from others? And isn’t that how I see my anger? A defense? Does that mean it’s more a symbiote than a parasite? But my therapist says it’s a poison and it’s eating me away from the inside. It is not really a question of who to trust and listen to – me (and the creature) or my therapist – but of courage and strength. Do I have what it takes to shed the armor of anger and hate to become the nascent individual who has been hiding inside me for all these years? I don’t know.

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