General Non-Fiction posted October 12, 2017

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non-fiction contest

A Glimpse of Anger

by TAB_that's me

Ever wonder if a half-frozen bottle of water can shatter glass? It can. The half-frozen cylinder angrily slipped from my fingertips with a hefty force. Aimed at nothing, it changed its flight path to land inside my van by way of the tinted-glass window in the sliding side door.

It shattered (the window, not the bottle, in case you wondered), sounding like a shotgun blast.

As if I weren't angry enough at my partner, now I was angry at myself as well, and it was going to cost me a few hundred bucks to get a new window. My temper comes from my paternal grandfather's side of the family. In combination with my genetics, I had just come out of thirty-year marriage where arguments were settled verbally and loudly, and usually combined with the slamming of a few doors. A bad habit I had hoped to leave to my ex along with the house.

Just leaving my store after work, we were going to head out on our bicycles, which we stored in the backroom of my business, for a little summer sunshine and exercise. A miscommunication, no longer remembered, caused a short outburst in my temper, which in turn caused my arm to raise the plastic bottle filled with ice and water and heave.

Next door, bar patrons meandered out to take a look, then kindly stepped back inside. No one walked the twenty or thirty feet to see if I needed help. The backside of the bar has an attached wooden structure used for outdoor sitting and smoking. The old boards are filled with holes and are loosely put together leaving cracks between each board.

Instead of being angry, my always kind and compassionate partner grabbed the broom, a box, and gloves and began cleaning up the shards scattered on the concrete. This angered me further (mostly at myself) and I kept telling her to leave. I broke it; I'd clean up the mess. But predictably, she stayed. Of course, secretly, I was happy to have the help. One window can make quite a lot of debris. Glass was everywhere inside the van as well as outside. I figured I'd be there hours, but with my partner's help we had it cleaned up in a short half hour.

Next door, silence ensued as the usually noisy partiers ears were glued to the cracks in the slats as they listened to the two lesbians bellow and bawl (both things done by me). In my mind, pictures were snapped and voices recorded under the guise of a cell phone conversation, most likely quickly uploaded to various forms of social media.

Thanks to the patient teachings from the one I now call my wife, I am learning to control the anger. She urges me to just sit down and talk calmly. It doesn't always work for me. I often need to leave to have some space and time to myself. Sometimes something still gets thrown (never at her), and a few doors may still get slammed. I long to have the peace and calm within that she exerts.

If you see footage on Facebook of the van window cleanup, don't tell me, I don't want to see the video of myself at my worst.


Non-Fiction Writing Contest contest entry

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