by Tania Moreno
A look at the effects that wrathful anger and living in poverty can have on the brain.
|Accumulated Anger Can Leave You Ticking Like A Time Bomb.
Repressed anger. Its unhealthy. It leads to unhealthy thoughts, unhealthy behavior. As someone who’s dealt with it on a constant, I am someone who knows. Repressed anger is like a bomb just waiting to explode.
I guess that’s why I found solace in every wire that I rigged. I did all of my homework. I wanted a very loud boom, whether it was underwater, or in the office of a low-life tax collector. Here in my quiet room, every late night that I awoke from my evening nap…I worked tirelessly on my craft, when necessary fetching supplies from wherever I could find them. With all that I had in my head, I knew this was good therapy. It was a form of getting away, and it was a focal point. I enjoyed the thrill of the walking along the dark streets at night, and the bartering with cutthroat strangers. Some nights I even picked up a few drugs, along with batteries, flammable chemicals, clay or “play-doh” and spare wires. I lived on my edge while everyone “normal” around me labeled my wild hair, pale skin and bag ridden eyes as crazy.
Well, I couldn’t blame them. I was unkept. I did have crazy eyes. I could feel the crazy on the bottoms of my dried out eye lids as I watched behind me, to the side of me, and in front of me everywhere that I went. The stores were a few blocks away, and I was a scrawny little “kid” to anyone who did not know me; a mature adult at 20 years old. I was someone who’s been surviving longer than anyone else was. I don’t remember a mother. My memories of a dad are of a man that did not dare contend with life, yet somehow always had that special liquid courage to contend with me. I fought with him, and the rest of the world lifelessly until I ended up here, in one of the rattiest apartment complexes of the city.
These dark empty streets laced with crime, whores and cocaine were fated for me from the start. From what I could remember of my childhood, I didn’t go to school much. I never really had the quiet luxury to read. I didn’t have any friends that I could trust in neither high places nor low places. From all of this I came to the conclusion that my existence was definitely not rigged for beach parties, or rich living. Except, just maybe, instead, I was living for the results of my craft. The “boom” of something that I created. The satisfaction of effect.
I checked my watch before I inhaled from my joint to see it was 23:48 I was walking back home, tonight with a bag of weed and a rolled up lit up J in one hand, my plastic corner store bags in the other. I dared to get arrested for this public indecency of mine. It would only mean graduating to another world. I played with that thought, thinking it would be there where I could learn to be a man. Maybe I could learn from others without a chance to be more bold. Maybe I could gather the strength to actually wipe out something that shouldn’t be here. Maybe if I could be criminal, I wouldn’t be weak after all.
These were just things that you think of when you’ve lived in poverty, uncared for and un-entertained. Your mind goes elsewhere. I myself became comfortable with a few clutches. This weed, these means I had of of getting by, my recreational craft, and the meaningless schemes that I often came up with.
I walked through my front door, and I greeted my demon in the corner with a look and a nod that said “Hey.” He stood where he always stood. A dark figure in the kitchen that resembled the kitchen where I first witnessed violent blood shed. He was cooking tonight, like every night since the last night that I had attempted to cook. Or at least, from the look of the rotted meat on the cutting board, he was pretending to. The chopped up pieces of steak didn’t go anywhere. They didn’t float, neither did they put themselves on the pan or in the trash. The only things that moved where the smiling demon’s hands, and the flies around the meat.
It was disappointing. Years later since the trauma and I still couldn’t bring myself to cook at home. It reminded me too much of my parents and their fights. I would try to hone my cooking skills, yet I would be painfully reminded of all that I had seen every single time I tried or that I wanted to taste a home cooked meal. But the only things I had that didn’t drive me crazy were these: My weed, my pills, my demon, and my illegal weapons; my shotgun on the wall, and the Smith and Wesson in the drawer where I kept my electrical tape.
Those precious items, along with these things in these plastic bags. I sat them both beside my chair at my small, unclean plastic little table against the wall in my “living room.” I took out item after item, and set them scattered in front of me. Then once I had everything laid out, I went to my room, took out my unprofessional little bomb and I set it on the table.
It was a work of art, all wired in specific in places with different colored wires poking out of the sides from clay and the silver made stop watch at the center. With a few more chemicals, and carefully placed batteries welded in certain places it would be a finished master piece.
In a matter of two hours, I did just that and put all of the finishing touches that it needed. Then I sat back in my chair. In all of the long nights that I worked, imagining putting an end to money grubbing Churches, or nonsensical meth houses. In all of the nights that I thought of taking out power abusing police precincts, or devaluating strip clubs… I struggled with the thought of what I would do with this creation of mine.
I only knew where not to go. An airport, of course. But anywhere else was free. I could change something, with just one loud “boom” I could deconstruct.
I leaned forward, and set elbows on the table at either side of my healthy little creation. I scrubbed my hands together. While contemplating what I would do now, the presence of my demon surrounded me. I could tell that he had moved out from the kitchen by the way that I could feel his dark aura ringing in my ears, and corrupting my thoughts. Every injustice that I had ever witnessed flashed in front of my eyes. I made a long involuntary sigh out through my nose.
There was nothing like my hate for most people, human nature, certain counter-productive societies. I didn’t have enough explosives in the world to do what I had wanted. I closed my eyes and I exhaled, trying to fight the feeling of intense surges of anger. Now that my creation was complete I had no other focal point. Just this rage, the hot stirring of my blood that would do me no good.
I thought back to the times when I finally had gotten old enough to sneak out of my house, a little after the Fourth Of July. I had just had a birthday the weekend before it. I was 14, and I had been exploring the streets around the area. In my stained, wrinkled old clothes, and my worn out running shoes I would go out to where the other kids played at the neighborhood basket ball court. I would get there, after walking all the way from the back of the complex, and I would sit down at the benches, too short to play.
At the particular time that I had gone there, the weekend after The Fourth Of July, the high school kids weren’t yet playing. They were doing something different, something that interested me more, something that I could take part in. With nothing to lose, I wanted to so I approached them, and I learned that they had been playing with more than just sparklers and poppers. They had units and units of TNT in their hands, and they were handing them off to each other. More than a few of them had lighters. I myself was one.
I remember taking out my Dad’s lighter, and standing there unsure of how to ask... But without even having to say a word, being passed a Roman Candle. That of which, for the first time ever I set to fire to explode. It was the only thing of any entertainment in my life. It was the only time I had ever felt completely alright.
It was at that moment that I knew, all I really wanted was to see this thing go boom. I grabbed my bomb, put it in my backpack and I left the house. I set out on a long walk, for hours walking, until my footsteps slowed and my legs began to go numb. I stumped out every footstep, somehow avoiding all dangers, somehow making it past the patrolling police.
This was so easy, that it felt meant to be. I was long gone over the bridge, and I was passing by the strand of restaurants that lined strategically along the streets, a corporate masterpiece. I was exhausted, this was the longest I had ever traveled on foot but the thought of being some place, some place beautiful, seeing something beautiful happen kept me going. I pressed on until I reached the beach, where the sands stretched for miles and the waters crashed against the shore. The sun was not yet arising, but the dark skies were becoming light.
I entered the area, past the palm trees, the ferns and the other shrubbery planted at the entrance. I took off my shoes, and I let my feet feel the sand. My every tired step, slow, but comfortable now that I was here. I checked my watch, 5:10 A.M. Then I took my backpack from off of my shoulders and I sat on a slant only slight in distance above the tide.
I didn’t want to go to jail. I didn’t have enough explosives to really change anything. One deconstruction would not deconstruct everything. But what became appealing to me, was being able to admire the beauty my craft at work without hurting anybody. Selfish as it was, the many creatures that probably would suffer. It was not their story.
I grinned at this thought. There was nothing good that you could do with a bomb. I would not be building another one. I took it out of my bag, I gave it a look that would imbed it in my memory and I walked it as far as I could logically go without ensuring my own doom. Then I braced my feet in the sand beneath the ocean, set the timer and I threw it as far as I could throw. Stepping back, further and further, I returned back to my spot on the sand just in time….
Just in time to watch the big bang with my crazy, tired eyes. The waters raised up beautifully in an atomic upheaval as the sun began to rise behind it making the sight a lighter blue in visibility. I heard the boom, faint in its existence, but I was shockingly more impressed by the amazing sight in front of me. The geyser that I had created, the fruit of my labor, the way I had gone about harboring something so dangerous. It all meant so much, more than I had thought. And as I stood there watching the waters stand in perfect formation in the air only to fall back into the ocean I knew that this peaceful feeling was where I wanted to be. I wanted this feeling of freedom, this sound of water, waves and leaves. I would return to my apartment and I would make it back here to live here as soon as possible. The sight of what I had built, and the sight that I had worked so hard to see freed me.