19 April 2006

Rage, Jesus, And The Hellclimber 3000

Hellclimber: die Treppe, die verwunden!
If it did not already exist, Dr. Josef Mengele would've invented it.


I have to preface this letter by saying that a few days have passed since I wrote what appears below, and in that time, the rage of which I speak has ebbed, owing to the ever-changing landscape of the human psyche and certain interpersonal dynamics (misunderstandings, apologies, whatnot). You should understand. As I recall, you are as sweet as sugar candy most of the time, but also have inclinations to phlegmatism, biliousness, epithets, invection - not to mention acrid, acrid spite from time to time. Indeed, I recall times from our youth when local ne'er-do-wells would pelt your window with stones while you were napping just so they could see you rocket from the house in a purple rage. Glee ensued at your expense. Such is the burden of the perpetually peevish.

Well, I am no different, other than the fact that I've never been pricked to naked rage by the neighborhood wags. And I'm sure that Those Who Read Over Your Shoulder (TWROYS) will wonder was it I? Was I the one who pissed him off Grand Royal this week? To which I reply, "Dear Readers, in ways large and small, and in your own very special way, it was every single one of you bastards."

But let's be friends now! That was yesterday! Que sera sera! J'apologize! Today I have a clear and compassionate mind, a contrite heart, and a fresh load of Snapper Turtles. (Why Snapper Turtles? Read on.)



I don't look around for ways to suck at being Buddhist. I really don't. It seems that I contain a great deal of rage, and that is the crux of the "sucking at Buddhism" issue. It's hard to be enraged and compassionate at the same time.

I go to a Buddhist shrink. I talk to her about my rage all the time. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: "Boy am I pissed."
Her: "Is there anything wrong with that?"
Me: "Well...It limits the ways in which I can see solutions, that's for sure."
Her: "What if you were to say 'I experience myself as an angry person'? What if you were to say that?"
Me: (Internally: WHUH the FUH?!) "I guess...I...OK. I experience myself as an angry person."
Her: "Where do you feel that in your body?"
Me: "Ummm...mostly in the steam that is now jetting out of the holes in my exploding cranium."

Long story short, I've had rather a trying week at work so far and it's only Wednesday. The week didn't start out so bad, though. On Easter Sunday I went to St. Mark's Cathedral. To celebrate, the Episcopalians brought out what can only be described as the 40-Foot Holy Ribbon Dancer(s) and the ever-popular Cloth Butterfly On A Stick. All of this being so far removed from what I understood as the story of Holy Week, I decided to revise my understanding of the Easter story thus:

33 years ago, Peter Rabbit laid an egg inside a tomb in Eastern Hoosapatamia. After three days, the egg hatched and out toddled Baby Jesus. This miracle is repeated every year. Peter Rabbit lays literally millions of eggs each year, but only one - The Cadbury Prize Egg - is lucky enough to be laid inside the tomb. It is said that after Baby Jesus hatches, if he pokes his head out of his tomb and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of Easter. If not, bring on The Rapture. (So far, so good on that whole Rapture deal.)

Yeah, so, church. Oh and further good news, I did not burst into flame. Afterwards we had a sumptuous feast of Fake Lamb Stew (which is so good, I can only guess that it's made from real lambs). Aaron, Marissa, Justin (Aaron's new roommate), Teresa, Elizabeth and I had a fantastic time. Many laughs were shared. It was the best Easter ever. EVER! Doubt me at your peril!

See? There it went again. The whole misplaced rage thing.

Which bring me to my next point, which is displaced rage. Or is it really displaced? You be the judge. This week we have a lot going on at work, and a lot has gone wrong (he said, for lack of a better way to not bore you with the details) as it is wont to do when we have complicated projects. So that means in turn that people get grouchy and pouty and vindictive so on - you know, the usual adult corporate behavior. Their behavior is not what's really troublesome to me. Nor am I trying to point the finger at myself and say that the situation would've been different if I had thought about it differently. No, bad behavior is bad behavior, period, and it's reasonable for me (or anyone else) to get angry over being treated poorly. What's troublesome to me is that my primary reaction to that sort of thing is absolute rage. In other words, excessive anger.

Don't get me wrong. I don't run around the office biting into jugulars. I keep a very cool demeanor for the most part. But the counterpoint to my outward serenity is the I Hope Your Fucking Eyes Get Fucking Devoured By Fucking Snapper Turtles, You Fucking Fuck mantra that runs beneath my calm exterior. It's distracting to say the least. Further (and perhaps more) troubling is the heart-bleedingly ardent Please Baby Jesus, Send The Snapper Turtles To Devour That Fucking Fuck's Fucking Eyeballs prayer that goes along with it. This, in my mind, is irrefutable evidence that at the core, I am not only a very bad Buddhist, I'm a very bad person.

So anyway, in the midst of wishing death to all four corners of the compass, an email to the entire consumer marketing division comes down from on high reprimanding us for - get this - playing too much ping pong, and directing us to limit our ping pong to 30 minutes or less per day. The reason given is that we're behind in our subscriber sign-ups for the quarter. (I'm sure you can hear the resounding WHUH the FUH already.) The email did not include an attachment that proved the linear connection between sign-ups lost and number of minutes of ping pong played. It would've been nice if there was an f(x)= -4/x thrown in there somewhere at least. And I have a creeping suspicion that if we're behind in sign-ups, the problem is much larger than ping pong. And I also need to remind you that a) I don't even play ping pong, and b) I'm part of a creative team. We don't stack bricks for a living, so more time spent at the desk does not equal more or better work done. Surely you know what I'm talking about. The downside of all of this is that there's really nothing I can do about it, so I'm left sitting here in my own bile.

So yeah, so then I'm freaking beseeching Baby Jesus to send an Army of Snapper Turtles such as the world has never seen. And I mean to the point of obsessive psychopathology. And I'm doing all kinds of counterproductive stuff. Losing sleep. Biting the cat. That sort of thing. So I decided that it'd probably be a good idea to work off that rage by going to the gym.

Au contraire. It was not to be. For on this day, I chose to work out my rage on the Hellclimber. I figure, "Hey, it's like walking up the stairs. How bad can it be?" Answer: It can be hell! It's awful! It may make you strong and give you the lungs of a teenage whale, but it will punish you mentally and physically. You climb and climb, but at the end of half an hour, you haven't made it to Somewhere Nice. You haven't even made it to the fucking landing of Somewhere Nice. You're still right there on the Hellclimber! For The Love Of Our Egg-Born Saviour, I say this thing is the primary tool of the Dark One.

Needless to say I was (and am) still enraged. The only thing that has changed is now the Hellclimber has been added to my Death List.

[If you'd like to purchase your very own Hellclimber, click here!]

So my point is this: what the heck do I do with all my rage when it becomes physically unmanageable? Is there some amount of rage that is either justified or to be expected? And finally, where can I get some ravenous Snapper Turtles?

Cheers, and give my best to Marie.



luke keen said...

ah man, I so know where you're coming from.
when I get some prick of a boss telling me something I don't want to hear in a condescending voice that I really feel is just an all out insult to me as a fellow human being, I end up sodden in rage. the angry chemicals pump round my body, emanating from somewhere near that place that goes all cold and empty when you’re terrified, then seeps up my body, and concentrates in strength as I feel it glow up my neck... the red rage has ascended on me, and my mind is filled with a hundred ways to cause pain and suffering to said person/ establishment/ system of oppression which doesn't pay me enough and makes me feel worthless.
*nudge* oops! she fell in front of a bus
*boof* oh dear, I accidentally swung this baseball bat with an 8" rusty nail through the end in her general vicinity.
*pkiaowwwwwwwffffffffff* oh no, what a tragedy I've accidentally blown her head clean off with a high powered sniper rifle.

I wish I knew what I could suggest to help mate. I find hanging with mates and drinking and taking the piss out of it seems to help a bit.

but when you're there, that ain't gonna help is it?

don’t' think you're a bad person, cause we all feel like that. and we have the nous and imagination to REALLY think ourselves into a rage.
but we tend not to let it seem out into the real world.
i mean, I haven't thrown a puppy into bubbling tar out of rage in like... ages!

big hug brother!!!

danny nutter said...

i stack bricks for a living. metaphoric rage bricks.