Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Mad As Hell but I think I'm going to have to take it

I've noticed my anger has returned recently. I used to be angry all the time when I was younger. It was my knee jerk reaction to everything. If I wasn't absolutely happy or excited, I was angry. I finally got tired of that  in my early twenty, of being emotionally spent by small things like traffic and poor customer service. I decided I wasn't going to be angry any more and I made a short art video about anger. My friends helped me make it and it was one of the pieces I left film school not feeling embarrassed about. For a long time I was not angry. Irritated, tired, sick, all things that can appear as anger but aren't. Until the end summer this year.

Now that I'm writing about it, I'm not entirely sure it really is anger I'm feeling. I think it's just deep disappointment and frustration. I will freely admit that I suppress my emotions. I do this because I'm an intense person and have no subtle reactions to, anything really. I am hyperbole. Everything is the best or the worst. I love it or I hate it. I am both willing to give my life for my family and want to kill them at the same time. I found that people don't handle my reactions well so I suppress them for the most part. When I am happy, I generally laugh too loud, when i am sad I find it hard to find the motivation to get out of bed. When I'm angry, truly angry I want to start a three week long riot, over throw the government and BURN SHIT TO THE GROUND! I have never had a mental scale as it were so all of these reactions seem perfectly normal to me. Other's expressions and fearful eyes would tell me other wise. I suppress my emotions because I want people to like me.

I also suppress but I think about everything too much, I analyze every word I said or didn't say from the dinner I had last night. I think if my motivation for wanting something or doing something are correct. I want to know if it's sadness I'm feeling or am I just tired and need more rest? It can be exhausting this process I have of second guessing everything out of my mouth. Usually when I'm talking, I don't have this dialogue. It's later at night when I am on the cusp of consciousnesses that I begin to critique whatever was said a hour ago.  I'm working on stopping this terrible habit cause it has the same affect on me as YouTube comments, they make me weep for humanity and burn with a passion of wiping us out for the greater good of the planet.

It occurred to me some moments ago that one of the reason why I feel angry was not only my odd level of working exhaustion but that I am dissatisfied with my life. I am not angry but disappointed that I didn't get what I wanted. Not that I get everything I want, in fact rarely do I get to feel real satisfaction about life. For example, I bought a car last year because I need a reliable one. The car I've wanted from the time I was a child was a 1987 Monte Carlo SS, black with chrome details. I knew this car would not only be out of my budget but hard to find and maintain so I didn't even search for it. I instead looked for a car that would last me at least ten years with regular maintenance and bought a honda accord. It's very nice and it gets me to work and I very much like it. But that little kid who wants the super sport still isn't satisfied.

After graduation this past May, I thought for sure my life would change. Not in that well scripted Hollywood fashion that Disney is always trying to sell but in the small steps way. that in a year I could look back and see how much change had taken place and that it's hard to believe I was ever in that place to begin with. I thought for sure that even if I didn't find a new job, I would have moved out and gotten my own place. Or had at least meet someone who would take me on regular dates if not had some sort of romantic relationship with. None of this has happen. My boss is still dismissive of my opinions, I still live in the same room i've been living in for decades, I hurt both my feet and haven't worked out in months, and thought I have meet some great people this year, people I adore and want to spend a lot of time with, none of them are available to be in a romantic relationship with me.

It's frustrating to feel like you are always treading water. And Facebook doesn't help by telling when every person I know is getting married or engaged or having a baby. I am happy for you friends and acquaintances, some of who I literally have not seen since high school, but please, stop telling me about how happy your life is. I know it's happy, okay?

Man, I sound like a winy, lonely baby. I should just except that this is my life and I am here for much, much longer than I expected. 

I wanted to love him

He wasn't much to look at. At least I told myself that the first time he walked away from me wearing that grin.  Just a brown skinned tallish man of almost forty who needed a haircut. He was too thin like he was used to not eating. Which wasn't true. I later found out he ate a great deal but never the kinds of foods I imagined an almost forty skinny man would eat.

His name is Charlies and the first time we met, he said I stole his heart. It was at a grocery store one late Thursday evening. I had gone to see a movie after work and then to drinks with some friends. The movie was forgettable, the drinks not so much. It was summer and every night during summer is a reason to sit on a random patio and chase a few beers with stories of 'that one time we' and 'remember when's. Our laughter spilled over the worn wooden boards of the patio and on to the street, passers by finding themselves smiling as they walked on. I would have stayed on that patio until the bar closed but I promised a friend I would make her cookies. I said good bye three times before I actually left, the joy of the evening evident in the smile that wouldn't leave my face.

Though I was sleepy, I wasn't in a hurry to find my bed so I drove to the all night market in the nice part of town and strolled down the isles. I thought of summer barbecues long past as I absently dropped items into my basket. I remembered wanting to make fried pickles and wandered to the isle which held the neatly stacked jars. It was in this isle that I first spotted him.

He was reading an ingredient label so intently he didn't notice I said excuse me. I wanted the customary few moments before again saying, this time with feeling, "Excuse me." He jumped a little and looked at me puzzled, like he'd forgotten where he was. I reached for a jar of pickles on the shelf in front of him and smiled slightly. He returned the smile and apologized for being in my way. I shook my head and said, " You have nothing to apologize for. That label must be very well written."

He laughed and said something about how it could use an editor. I smiled and turned to go. "Do you like that brand best?" I heard him call out. I turned and now he a jar in each hand, a look of sincerity on his face. His light blue button down shirt had wilted in the heat, the crispness of the starch gone. His pants were in better shape, still creased but out of place atop of rubber flip flops. He closed the small gap between us and as I spoke, I could smell leather and old spice.

"I like this brand just fine. It's perfectly average." A small grin grew on his face at my answer. He relaxed a little and I noticed that the frame around his green eyes were bent.

"I guess if you are buying pickles from this place, you can't expect more than average," his reply tinged with disappointment. He placed both the jars back on the shelf and turned back to me. "What are you going to make with those average pickles anyway?" I started to walk toward the front of the store and he followed.

"I'm going to make fried pickles. It's the best way to transform anything average into fantastic," I said noticing how comfortable I was talking to this stranger.

"You are a wise woman," he replied and I thanked him. We talked all the way to the cash register and after I checked out, he offered to walk me to my car. I told him I couldn't let him do that, I would make it too easy for this van of kidnappers to spot me. He laughed and said he only kidnaps people on weekends. Our conversation ebbed and flowed as walked to my car. I was vaguely aware of time passing but wasn't sure in which direction.

After minutes or hours or days of talking in the almost vacant parking lot, he asked if we could maybe talk again in a different setting, some place that had already prepared food. I replied I would enjoy talking in a quiet booth in a dimly lit restaurant where live jazz peppered the air. He asked if Jane Austin was a friend of mine, an old one I answered.

I give him my number and he left me with a happy smile and promises of frequent calls to reassure himself that I was not a figment of his imagination.

I wanted to love him.