Friday, May 10, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

It starts with heat. The feeling is tight and hard. It has sharp edges. It doesn't feel good, but it tries to convince you that it does. I don't know if it's universal. I'm just me, and that's all I can be. I am speaking from my frame of reference. Maybe it makes you feel cold. Maybe you feel it all the time. If so, I pity you.

It's poisonous, and it can hurt you worse than you can imagine. 

You have to vent. You have to let it out in little pieces. Otherwise, it will grow. It expands so rapidly. It reproduces itself inside you. You are now a breeding ground. You are a host, and, eventually, it will kill you. It takes a long, long time. 

If you can avoid it altogether, then good for you. Good for you and Mr. Rogers, maybe. Most of us are all too human, with human weaknesses and emotions that poison us from the inside. Mr. Rogers wouldn't like my neighborhood. 

Once in a blue moon, the feeling is washed away completely, but it creeps back in eventually. For me, at least. 

That's how it works in my neighborhood. 


  1. It starts with anger. It burns brightly and grows if I don't dowse it immediately.

    If nurtured instead of dowsed, it easily and quickly blooms into a murderous rage while fed a steady supply of fuel. All the little slights and transgressions I feel I've suffered over the days of my life.

    One by one they feed the outrage leading to a place where I begin to imagine the satisfaction to be had from exacting revenge. Revenge for Every. Single. One.

    If I allow that feeling of satisfaction to build, it will crescendo tipping into the place where imaginings are no longer sufficient. Action must be taken.

    One by one the imaginings become action. The satisfaction that comes with each realized action only propels the carnage forward, thirsting for more. Mere revenge no longer suffices. The death toll rises.

    As I repose in my prison cell, I relive every bit of revenge I've exacted over and over until the end of my days, cackling with joy at odd hours.

    I am incurably insane, just awaiting the day Hell will finally claim me as its own.

    The woman he was sharing his home with was a stranger. She had a number of familiar attributes – she shared the same name as his wife – but the differences between them outnumbered their likenesses. This was not what he’d expected at all. He’d been hoping for something different to this.

    He’d been expecting her to be more like his Lillian. Lillian with the smile, the ready wit, her scorn for anyone that ran with the crowd. She was a woman with her own sensibilities. A soul with no need to conform.

    But that was not the woman who’d come back home to him. The woman with the bed which had been delivered today was an imposter. She wore the same clothes as his wife, but they were ill-fitting, not suited to her gaunt frame. He’d often joked that he never knew what she’d wear tomorrow, her habit of retail therapy making it impossible to for him to gauge tomorrow’s style. He recognised the face and the figure that wore the clothes from her wardrobe, but the items themselves were often a complete surprise.

    Her single bed was an island. A territory he was reluctant to explore. She lived in it as though she was a neutral independence, her realm known only by the rumours he’d heard. She was fragile and physically limited, her needs governed as much by the boxes of drugs that had arrived with her, a pharmacopeia of names derived from Greek and Latin, none of them familiar to him.

    He was alone in his home with a stranger. He was adrift in a turbulent sea.

    The woman he’d visited in the hospital had been more familiar. She’d been more like his Lillian, although even then she’d been strange. She’d held his hand and said his name, but there was a distance in her gaze. A separation that had suggested things were not at all well.

    He wasn’t naïve. He’d known what to expect. Or at least he’d thought he would be able to cope.

    Today, she’d been different. He’d said goodbye to her on the ward less than a day ago, having planned for her to be back with him today. The woman now making him feel inadequate was like a newborn. Hardly able to talk and unable to manage for herself.

    He would have to grow up or he knew he would fail her. She was too precious to lose through oversight.


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