“I love myself when I’m angry.”
I say that, but sometimes, I find it harder and harder to love all these frustrations. It gets tiring to look back at yourself and ask: “What did I do wrong this time?” You just hope that it’s not as bad as last time. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes, right? At least, that’s the intention. But what’s that phrase? Old habits die hard? Yeah, that’s it. This one’s really old. From birth, as far as I can tell.
A repeating cycle of getting frustrated. A never-ending rhythm of pencils poking holes into papers – a symphony of abrasive pencil sounds, and an array of abused graphite.
It doesn’t really matter what the question is anymore. Even as I get challenged further and further, I’m still going to get stuck. That’s my inevitability. Death and taxes. And getting angry at mistakes.
It’s the helplessness, I suppose. I’ve always got to be in control. Always ready. Always prepared. And when that guise of preparedness fails, I’m helpless. I try to think back to what they taught us in elementary school. Some anti-bullying assembly.
“Take a few deep breaths. Go take a walk.” They say.
And that’s fine. That’s cool, you know. But sometimes, you kinda just want to fuck some shit up. You want to tear something up. You want to throw something. Smash something. Stamp your feet a little, flex your biceps a little.
But you don’t do it. You don’t really do anything, because you realize how much time and money it’ll cost to try to repair the things that you break. You think about how your mom would look at you.
“What the fuck are you doing?” She’d say, maybe without the profanity. And then she’d ask you what was wrong.
What do you say? “Oh, nothing, mom. Just a little – uh – tantrum. Got mad at the math.”
You don’t say that. You don’t say it, because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Who the fuck gets this angry over a math question? Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean that it’s OK to fuck my shit up, yeah? Just because you feel like you’ve been done wrong doesn’t mean that you have to pin that shit onto me, right? Next time, don’t fuck up the walls.
You don’t want to deal with that. So, what do you do? You grab the closest thing next to you.
Never-mind. Next closest thing. The pencil. Still large enough to make a mark. So what do you do with the pencil? Well, there’s only one target, right? The math problem.
So you stab it into the page dramatically, flailing your arm into the paper. Ooh, yeah. Give it to the paper. You’re reenacting the Assassination of Julius Caesar. You’re Brutus, and the paper is Julius. Heavy breaths. You’ve done it.
You look through the hole.
And you listen. You listen for footsteps. I hope nobody heard that, you think to yourself. You kinda wanted somebody to hear, but you’re not that big of a rebel.