From Jester To King XCVIII
By Simon Barget
My anger and rage would often scare me to bits, catch me unawares, force me to face the fact that I was unbearable to be around and that I could make people’s lives a misery. But those instances when I blew up in a rage were the same ones that showed me exactly why I’d got into that rage, why I’d reacted, not that the reasons were excuses, and they’d serve as a reminder that I was still carrying around all this hurt and pain, all this resentment, and that I still had time to do something about it. Everything could be traced back to the family and how I was treated, and what set these things off were always these innocuous incidents where my extended family would get together and they’d be deciding what to do and how to do it, all the ins and the outs, it might have been just going out for a meal or for a picnic, and at some point after remaining silent for a great deal of time I’d suddenly realise that nothing I’d said had been taken into account, that I hadn’t in fact said anything, that people were deciding my fate without paying the slightest bit of attention to my existence, and it would get to a point where I was so enraged by this obliviousness, by all these people prattling on about the most trivial little details, that after the arrangements had been made and we were about to get into the car and go to some place, I’d suddenly point blank refuse, that’s when I started raving, screaming my head off taking it out on almost everyone involved, every person would get it in the neck, and after I’d blown up I was surprised these people even spoke to me after let alone looked me in the face after what I’d done to them.
And if this sounds non-specific, let me give you examples. Once with my uncle, and we were all about to go out as a family, and my cousin was there, I do remember that my female cousin somehow lorded it over everyone, felt she had the rule of the roost, even though she was much younger than everyone else, and there was this particular way that the combination of uncle and cousin – she was his daughter – managed to rub me up the wrong way to the point that I pulled out my gun, and not for a minute would I have actually used it, but I thought it was the only way to actually get their damned attention I started waving it about in some sort of strange synchronisation with my anger, as I vented my rage, the gun vented with me, and right when they were all about to file out of the house, I was yelling at them to go, telling them that I would not be going with, that they never fucking listened, and how dare they not listen, and then this is where it gets embarrassing, with me starting to tell them that basically only I mattered, I mean I wasn’t saying it to show that I was the most important person in the world, what I was stressing was that I knew I mattered to myself and no one could make me forget it, that I had just realised it, that I hadn’t up to this point acted in my own best interests, and this realisation seemed to manifest itself in this hostile disagreement with their course of action and with me feeling it incumbent on me to enumerate every single little fucking detail that I did not go along with, down to things that made no sense really like not liking Frank’s car or the colour of the upholstery, I didn’t like the way people walked out the door, they were always these tiny things related to how they had not paid attention to seemingly minor things like the fact that the door bell wasn’t working or the step at the front door was dangerous and people often tripped over it, but this only mattered on the way in, and now we were going out, the fact that the door bell didn’t work didn’t matter at all but that did not stop me from bellowing out my gripes. And then as I say it was only by the time that I’d got through mentioning all of them that I suddenly had this sense of how ridiculous and unfair and prissy and outrageous and unreasonable and furious I had been, and by then it was too late and all I could do was let my head sink to my shoulders and sheepishly swallow down a gulp of saliva.
But like I say, the rages made sense. They made me see that I’d had to endure all this ignoring and passing over, that I hadn’t come to terms with it at all, and that in a way I was just resetting myself and there wasn’t really all that much I could do and that the rage would find a way of coming out until it had exhausted itself.
And it’s weird because sometimes I dream of situations where I’m with my whole extended family, and then there’s all the people who have since passed away that are there too, not to mention great-grandfathers I’ve never met and I hear them saying all this stuff, and the dreams are real like I’m actually there, but when I open my mouth, no sound comes out and I go around desperately trying to make myself known like in the slightly comical and exaggerated over here arm-waving gesture people make in films to direct the helicopter to the precarious piece of ground that they are standing on when it seems like the helicopter hasn’t seen them or is on the cusp of giving up and all their arm-waving efforts will have proved to be in vain. And then every time I wake up I feel the rage in my body and the subsequent shame that I might have gone too far, yet all I did in this dream was try to make myself heard, it’s not like I actually pulled out the gun, but for that it seems I’ve been forgiven, at least we don’t tend to talk about it much when I go back home and I just often hope that whenever I do, I don’t find myself losing my shit.