When I'm Angry, Listening To Music I Hate Calms Me Down (aka Calm Before The Divorce)

Ethan was crying, the lights were dim, the moon made wet shadows on the floor, and I’ve always hated his middle name. 

 

Have you ever been so angry that your thoughts, what you can process, becomes as short as your temper? I was sitting in the living room completely unable to understand that home is a collection of things we put in it. My eyes looked around the apartment, but I didn’t see a home, only the pieces in it. 

 

The crib was next to the sofa. The door was closed. The faucet was dripping and there were two pots boiling on the stove. I couldn’t remember what was in them, if I had or was about to cook. My apartment had turned into a stranger, and I was so angry I couldn’t come up with a name for the assembly of these things. That this was a place Ethan, whenever he learns how to talk, might call “Home.” The idea that these old creaking floors and flower sofas were anything other than what they were by themselves was unimaginable. They were together only in that they were close to each other and nothing more. It all felt separate so separate and isolated. 

 

Ethan was crying, the lights were dim, the moon made shadows on the floor and I’ve always hated his middle name. 

 

I didn’t have a terrible temper like the aunts and uncles on my mothers side. Incurably Irish, that side of my family lived in constant states of extremes. If they loved you, they were just as likely to cry in your arms or fist-fight in the parking lot to prove it. And if they hated it you, well, much more of the same really.  

 

I have my father’s patience and that used to drive my mother crazy.  When her smacks stopped drawing a reaction out of me she turned to torture that made Guantanamo Bay sound like a paid vacation. My name may as well been Shtate, I was thick and hussy. Still, I never reacted, never cried, never fought back or disrespected her. I did everything she ever asked me to and more, and I played the exemplary daughter so well she even stopped yelling at me in public because the neighbors started saying she was too cruel. She must have known, somehow. Known that I only did it because I had to, and that when the day came that I could be my own, I would. I knew it too, all too well, that she could hold me for only so long. In the meantime there wasn’t a point in talking back or being angry. 

 

But that night I reached a critical mass. 

 

Ethan was crying, the lights were dim, the moon made shadows on the floor and I’ve always hated his middle name. 

 

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