Tag Archives: rage


Elliston Mast plopped the paper down and flopped backwards into his chair. He started reading the daily paper end to end as a deliberate practice two years ago as a way to keep his mind fresh and to have a good understanding of what was going on in the world.

He found the routine satisfying, at first. Over the last few months however, something shifted. His once passive intake of news and information started to come with a mental commentary. Spotty at first, the thoughts and reactions crept in and grew with the days. Audible grunts and ‘humphs’ followed. They prefaced longer strings of conscious responses and soon he was not only reading the paper out loud, but providing feedback on the story at the same time, often waving the pages in the air with disgust.

Today, even the ads annoyed him and he told them so while pointing and shaking his fist. The nerve of so and so mattress company to spread the fear that a mattress needs to be replaced every seven years! Why he could jump right into his twelve-year-old bed, roll around in it without so much of a hint of a squeak and then sleep solidly like a newborn baby in glorious comfort and support. He might even sleep better, to spite the mattress company! Yes, so and so mattress company, in your face!

The rage never started with the ads of course. The silly, simple context of the ads which treated human beings like morons was only the creamy topping on a ‘news’ sundae which not only set the pot to boil, but brought it up to full burn. Even the sports page garnered comments and derision.

Every day, like a soap opera, the paper added a few more sordid details to the developing stories intent on stringing the reader along  just enough to pick up tomorrow’s edition to see what happens next. Sensational murder trails, unfortunate accidents, crimes of the stupid and tragically uninformed littered the pages every day and like a waterfall, new stories of the same ilk awaited him the next day and the next day and the next.

He started reading the paper to keep his mind fresh and to have a good understanding of what was going on in the world. The paper itself often ended up balled up in a huge mass in his backyard with him standing over it, setting it ablaze with the help of some tiki torch fluid from the garage and a disposable candle-lighter.


Dart plopped himself into the driver’s seat of his car. He slammed the door with great authority and enjoyed the extra noise it made in the parking garage. He forced a calm into his hand so that the key slid into the ignition easily. His teeth clenched harder to take up the slack. The car came to life and he backed it out carefully, but his grip on the wheel was tight and unforgiving. He pulled around to and through the automatic gate and stayed relatively silent until he hit the street. At that point, he was free to unleash.

He started with a solid string of expletives, low and slow at first, but long enough to build to the point where the last few raked his vocal cords. His hands clenched the wheel tighter and as he stopped at the first traffic light, he let out a scream that both released an initial wave of frustration and a spray of saliva that dotted his windshield. Dammit! How he hated a dirty windshield.

Moving past the level of primal expression, he strung together actual words that formed hateful, yet basic rhetorical questions the car certainly would not be able to answer.

“What the hell was that?”

“What did they mean by that?”

“Who does that?”

“What kind of…”

Another primal shriek filled the enclosed space.

The radio had avoided drawing his attention that was, until the first words of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” seemed to hit him in the face. He hated Tainted Love.


Dart punched the dial, dropping the radio into silence. A tiny sense of reason rose from the back of his head. He hoped that he didn’t pop it so hard that he broke it. In general, his radio was his car ride companion and they logged hundreds of thousands of miles together in times far worse than this. He would miss it if he broke it and would be extra pissed to have to fix it.


The rage swelled up inside him, pressing heavily against the worn and rusty latch where he kept it. To say it was in his mind was wrong. The rage dwelled in the dark shadows and recesses near his soul, but when triggered, the mind was its playground.

He had mere seconds for rational thought as the feeble latch, grown weaker from years of valiant service, held admirably. Decision time and the question was simple. Do I suppress the rage or release it?

Suppression meant calling upon some form of energy cavalry to rise up and quell the insidious rage, a force that generates instant thoughts of perspective and common sense into the brain to combat the swell. Are you really getting this mad over this?  It’s an unexpected bill. It’s a spilled bowl of taco dip. It’s just not that big a deal.

To release? To release meant working the latch just enough to undercut its integrity and allow the rage to do the dirty work. It meant setting free the full on raw emotion of all things wrong and unfair. Yes, it’s taco dip, but that’s just one thing, the camel’s straw, the tip of the ice burg of all things wrong and dysfunctional in this world from the second that bowl tumbled from the refrigerator and on and back to when his bike was stolen when he was nine and a half years old.

The rage was primal, raw, irrational, immature, greedy and…exquisite.

The rage always came with consequences, something to fix, an apology to make. But those moments, drenched in pure human emotion, writhing and contorted by unadulterated anger and fearless of self or other of exhaustion and tears, could be cleansing. It could be a welcome release, a way to drain the tank of frustration and woe that might give the latch a chance to fight another day.

He looked down at the dip that had splashed across his sock covered foot, the floor and started a short climb up the cabinet wall next to him. His foot surrounded by broken glass.