More of that rusty cage

There’s nothing but uselessness and helpessness.

They say being helpless is something one inflicts upon themselves by choice. Maybe some of us just like a knife pressed into our throat. Perhaps it’s the thrill, that sting, and the razor-sharpness of an object that could bring about a messy end if used with violent intent. Maybe it’s beautiful in its own right; it’s not surrender, not entirely, not if you know that in the end, your intent was true.

Everything is about perspective, and I find it shifting constantly, in ways I never thought I would see. I know now to expect anything from myself. I wake up and I am in charge and in control. I go to sleep, wake up again, and I shy from the lights and the people and the sounds, regathering myself in solitude, with no intent, no direction, no reason. I don’t care to fight. I don’t even care to speak those days. Then the next, I find myself in a stranger’s face with my teeth clicking together and my jaw aching, as I quietly but assertively state my opinion. 

When I used to work, people told me I never got angry. I don’t know anything that could be further from the truth. My blood would pound through me, my head would feel like it was going to explode, and I’d bite the inside of my mouth until I felt my teeth puncture skin. It got so usual, that eventually, I didn’t have to do anything at all to remain looking calm. Then one day, like anything, walls somewhere within me gave. It was like a floodgate being released, and the feeling of wrath was all-consuming. There was nothing else but that pure feeling, and it made me shake and sweat, and the waves of it were better than any sex could ever be. 

The girl I cornered didn’t really deserve it. And when I was done, having told her in quiet tones to “get off my fucking floor” along with a very detailed examination of her incompetence in all its glory, all the while standing inches from her face, it felt like I’d spent hours fucking myself into a stupor, and a weird exhaustion settled over me. I didn’t hit her. But I thought about it, especially when she stammered out an apology and cowered, literally cowered. I give her credit. She didn’t cry until she walked toward the door, though her eyes were filled with unshed tears. It took awhile for her sobbing to get to me. But I thought of my boss, and all the times I’d seen her do what I did, and the bad taste that comparison left in my mouth was the only reason I bothered to speak to her and repair the damage.

Her apologies reminded me of a beaten dog, and when I smiled, it was at her red, tear-stained face. She wanted my approval so badly that it was palpable. And I liked it. She never disobeyed me again the following year. She went out of her way to please me, constantly asking me for ways she could do better. Maybe someone with a little more empathy would have felt bad, instead, I just felt powerful. For weeks after when I would walk into the breakroom, that cliched silence would take over, and it was hard to repress a smile. 

Yes, the quiet one who everyone relies on for everything does have feelings and does have a temper. Surprise, surprise. 

I’ve spent so much time learning to calm my over-excitable temper, that when it finally does manage to break the surface of my control, I’m left confused and shocked. I barely even remember what it feels like, until it sweeps up and over me, leaving me awash with strange feelings and sensations. It’s like it is its own entity, so all-consuming, that I feel weak and useless in its wake. 

I’m so tired of the monotony of numbness, but yet I don’t want to experience whatever feelings others have on a daily basis. How strange it must be to have opinions and feelings about everything. What a waste of time.