I was angry yesterday. About what; to explain seems inconsequential now. I’ll say that my anxiety was involved (as usual) because when is my anxiety not involved in my life? That rage burned so hot I thought it would never end. I had too many thoughts running in my mind, buzzing like a beehive. I can say so little in real life but it’s absolute chaos inside.
During it, I thought, I am a hateful woman. I’ve known for a long time that people aren’t black and white on the moral compass scale. Neither am I. I wish I could be a shining example of being just but some days when I lose patience with myself and other people, well, frankly, it’s like I want to say f**k it all.
When I am angry at my own problems and inability to solve them, I can feel myself getting a tinge crueler to the world around me. Some of the things I think in my mind; it’s awful but authentic.
Out of the corner of my eye that day, I saw a child fall down on the street. The toy car in his hand followed suit by ricocheting onto the pavement. The mother rushed over immediately to pull the kid up. This was the best outcome, really, because a lone wailing child with no parent in sight is uncomfortable. I glanced at them and then at the scattering of spectators. My eyes locked with another person. I saw vague curiosity mixed with a kind of muted boredom searching me. Don’t pretend like you give a sh*t about the kid either or that you would’ve helped if the mom wasn’t there, I silently messaged with my eyes.
Later down the street, I passed a bearded man holding a cardboard sign. I didn’t have to read the words to know he was panhandling. I see people like that all the time in New York, especially on the subway. It’s not that I am numb to other people’s sufferings. Being homeless with nowhere to go is no joke, but I am not about to give someone money when I am barely making it myself. That’s not to say there have been times I have given money to people who solicited it from me, all because their begging pulled on my heartstrings. I am not stupid; I know giving freely may be well-intended while the person may very well have gone on to use that money to fuel their drug habit or some other nefarious activity. No, I often tried to just think about that I meant to be helpful and whatever they did with the cash was at their own discretion.
Not this time though. My chest felt like a damn block of steel, completely unmovable and unmalleable, as I spotted the homeless man. To be honest, I barely registered he was there. I marched past with the thought, Not this sh*t again, I have my own cr*p to think about, I thought, as if to assuage myself about why it was better to be uncaring, why it was okay to think such callous thoughts. Honestly, in this world, when my own problems just weigh me down and suck the life out of me on many, many days, I can’t always constantly be a ball of empathy.
Normally, I am a person who hates conflict and will avoid arguments if I can help it. I can’t even stand the tension that sizzles in the air when people are pissed at each other and often make myself scarce. But it’s also when I am angry that I get so tired of fighting my baser instincts. So f*cking tired of being “good” (though this is pretty subjective, depending on what someone considers to be good) and being passive and hesitant in my speech. Just once I would like to dare to say what I really mean, unfiltered, instead of being that person who agonizes about how or what to say.