Through a combination of simple events and dumb circumstances, I have been coming into both itching and burning contact with vocal stupid people and spent a few weeks verbally shooting them full of holes. That takes a lot of time and energy and stirs up the kinds of emotions I have been trying to live without. This wasn’t doing Pete’s blood pressure any favors and I felt like anger was starting to lead me around by the nose again. Moreover, I started the week with a stiff neck, causing me to move like an exotic bird for days and on Friday pulled a muscle in my back. I stayed home and had a talk with me.
Tata: Say, what are you doing?
Tata: I have to defend myself. Stupid people are stupid and say stupid things. I have to tell them they’re stupid!
Tata: Because…I’m mad! That’s why!
Tata: Yeah. Are they going to get less stupid because you’ve informed them that they’re stupid?
Tata: No. I’m being stupid, aren’t I?
The neighbor directly behind us is a smart guy. We agree on lots of things and he has that chicken coop I cannot quit staring at, he also has a wife who has never had a conversation with me. For no reason I can imagine, she feels entitled to insult me. She’s done it three times. Last week, I was contemplating my revenge options when I realized my next move might result in some very ugly outcomes.
I thought about it carefully. I thought about what you might do, you Poor Impulsives. I am completely confident in my ability to blow up our block in ten words or less, not to mention anything else.
But I don’t have to. I know I can.
So I removed myself from the company of the stupid people and spent the afternoon letting myself let the anger drain. It’s not easy. That drain clogs often and is full of hair you don’t recognize.
When somehow I was neither under rubble nor under arrest, I consulted with my friend Minstrel.
Okay, you and I are trudging across a desert under a blazing sun. Salt crusts our blistered lips. It’s plain I’m holding you back and you’d stand a better chance of survival alone. Vultures are landing nearby, clutching bottles of ketchup and A-1 in their talons.
Tata: Go on without me, but make me one promise?
You: What is it?
Tata: You’ll track down that bastard who did Playground In My Mind and feed him his still beating heart…?
You: I’ll…remember you for – well – most of next week. Probably.
At least, I can write jokes again. There’s a council meeting coming up and by this time tomorrow night, anything could happen. I might be speaking in tongues and knitting up a guillotine. Every movement needs its wild eyed DeFarge; fortunately, my neighbors think I’m quirky and have no idea they don’t know me.