I’m angry. Am I’m delighted. I’ve been chasing anger for miles but it’s always a little faster than me. Always a little farther out. Farther than my resolve.
It was less than a year ago I pulled my co-worker into an empty office. Confused. But she was my confidant because she’d been in this confused placed before. I told her that I thought my husband may be interested in another woman. May be cheating on me. She gave me the “Oh honey. I’m sorry” eyes and quickly corrected her. That’s not why I’m coming to you. For sympathy. No. I’m coming to you because when the thought of him with another woman raced across my mind…I felt nothing. I was not hurt. Mad. I was not. Angry. What does that mean? Shouldn’t I be? “No.” She said. “When you’ve been hurt a lot it’s sometimes difficult to feel strong emotions again.”
It was a little over a year ago that I stepped on a scale. Curious more than anything. I’d had a baby and my pre-baby clothes were cutting off my air supply but still I wanted confirmation. Exactly how fat was I? The scaled ticked and waivered before it stopped. Forty pounds more than when I peed on a stick for the first time. My eyebrows raised. And then lowered. I stepped off, slid the scale back under my bed and went and ate. No disappointment. No hurt. No anger.
It’s been almost two years since I’d written a single creative word. I’d deleted the blog app on my phone. I’d never make a living as a writer. No one would read my ideas. I couldn’t waste time on this…leisure. Useless is what writing is. A waste. Indifferent. Not angry.
“Hey, I missed you at church this Sunday.” She was being polite. She’d missed me at church every Sunday for the past few months. I could barely pull myself out of bed to get to Jesus. I figured he’d come to me if he really wanted me right? I didn’t have the energy to smile. To pretend to pray when I was thinking about my empty bank account. My husband, possibly not loving me. My frequent courts visits to fight for a child I’d raised and loved since he was in my womb. The executives who looked at me across a conference room table and I could hear them thinking “You’re not good enough.” My apartment in the ‘hood. Where a group of guys smoking. Drinking. Playing loud music greeted me and my babies every time I came home from a long day’s work. I don’t want to pass them. I shouldn’t have to pass them. To get home. The home I pay for. But I have to. I have no choice.
I part the cloud of smoke. Hold my breath as I step on the rank elevator. I push the smooth silver button. 9 levels of humid rank heat. My hands shake as I open my door and before I know it my keys are flying. Down the dark hallway. Ricocheting against the cement walls. My chest heaves. I can’t breathe but it’s way too much air. I’m hot even though it’s cool. And I know what it is. Anger. I caught it. I caught up. It’s here and it’s everything. All-encompassing and surrounding me and I miss it and hate it and want it to stay and wish it would go away. I’m so delighted. Delighted in anger.
The last time I was angry I lost fifty pounds. The last time I was angry I finished four semesters in college as a single mom while holding a full time job. The last time I was angry I packed up all my ex’s shit and gently delivered it to his grandmother’s house for safe keeping. The last time I was angry… I wrote. A lot. The words poured out and I would re-read them and marvel at how beautiful they were. The last time I was angry I met the love of my life because I wouldn’t settle for anything else. And I know he loves me. But I was angry that I didn’t, once again, love me. See, when I’m angry, I’m changed. My anger isn’t all raw emotion with no destination. It’s a pusher. A dynamo. A life-changer.
So, I’m angry now. And. I’m delighted.