I mentioned the other day how I regularly trip off into these mindless rages. I call it my “Donald Duck mode” (ya know? Donald Duck would hit his thumb with a hammer and then go flailing across the room in this mindless rage). And few things trip me off MORE than dealing with the stuff in my storage locker.
I’ve got all my stuff — all my worldly possessions — stashed in this 6-foot-by-6-foot storage locker. And when I’m dealing with it, it’s the one time when I seriously question whether my life really works, and whether my daily lifestyle might actually be completely insane. I’ve got all these big heavy plastic boxes jammed in there, stacked up from floor to ceiling. And I swear to God, whenever I’m looking for something it’s INVARIABLY in the very bottom of the stacks (and why is that? is there some irrefutable law of nature about that??). And the other thing that drives me nuts. When I’m pulling all the boxes out, they’re all neatly stacked and fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. But when I’m trying to put the boxes back in, the jigsaw puzzle never fits back together the same way.
So today I’m trying to get one of the boxes wedged back into its place. It weighs a ton — it’s like a load of bricks — and I’m breaking my back trying to hoist the thing over my head and wedge it in there. But no matter how hard I try to cram the thing in there the damn thing just won’t fit in there. And then one of the other stack of boxes starts collapsing on me. So I’m trying to hold that stack of boxes in place with one hand while I’m trying to jam the other box back into place with my other hand. And I’m like that kid in the fable who didn’t have enough fingers to plug up all the holes in the dam. So the whole thing — all the damn boxes — collapse on me. And on top of that I shredded one of my hands in the process.
So now I’m standing there amongst the rubble, huffing and puffing and red-faced in rage and sweating like a pig. And I just lost it (OK?). I start screaming at the top of my lungs. “FUCKKKKK!” “SHITTTT” and “AAAIIGGHHHH!” This wordless shriek of pure agony.
And evidently I was shrieking a little louder than I realized and they could hear me all the way down in the office downstairs. Because one of the workers at the storage locker company — this young black woman — comes trotting up the stairs and she gingerly points her head in my direction and says:
“Excuse me, sir. Are you OK??” (a good question)
“Oh I apologize,” I said with a sheepish smile and a chuckle (one thing in my favor is I can turn it off and on in a split second). “I was just blowing off steam. It drives me nuts trying to get all this stuff back into my locker. I apologize for causing a disturbance.”
I gave her my big, winning, charming, affable smile. To hopefully convey they I’m not a lunatic and there’s no need to come at me with butterfly nets and straightjackets and I’m a good America just like you.
“Oh. OK,” she said with a smile (or was that a grimace?). And she trotted back down the stairs.
It was embarrassing. But what the hell. I think it’s very unhealthy to bottle up and repress your emotions — it may even be a major cause of diseases. So it’s a good thing to find an outlet where you can express your emotions. Whether it’s anger, grief, love or joy. And hopefully in a mode that doesn’t end up getting you locked up in a cage.