That snarl — cur, holding inside a tornado of wrath, of slash/burn vitriol — what do I do with that, as a writer and as a person?
I want to write it down, of course. To remember that moment, to remember how I wanted to fight back but didn’t, to remember blind rage, checked by three kids in the room playing Uncharted Adventure and another one learning how to type, to remember all the moments like this, moments that convince me (as if that was necessary) that she is not, was not the one for me, ever, that she is, in fact, sick in some way. I see how I want to record that, logbook-style, as though a judge will spend his evening with my book and then mete out a slap-hand of hate to her, to tell her just where she belongs, to make her crawl and beg for my good blessings.
And I want to write it because it’s extreme, and juicy, and so unlike the flat rest of this day. It’s so human, I think, and won’t others want to see that? Would this not make good reading? I could write of the bus driver, the tomato plant, the bananas rotting on my counter, the comings and goings of light. But these things pale in comparison, pretty as they are in their own way. We do like a good car wreck.
I am busy in my kitchen making dinner for my son. Slicing chicken, chopping broccoli, green beans, sesame oil in the pan getting hot. I could almost let go of the past hour. I want to let go of the past hour. It would be good for me, I think. Why hold the play-by-play of this battle? I stew, momentarily, again. I can let this go — really, I can. I could till it back into the soil like manure, softening, forgetting, and let other crops grow. The sharp rocks in the field, viewed from afar, disappear into rolling grass that the bare feet don’t feel.
I see myself dissecting the bitter fruit, turning it from side to side, tasting it again and again to make sure I get it right. A regular John James Audobon of the emotional world, pinning it to paper.
There is a way to live, and a way to write. Sometimes you have to crawl into the scowl to escape it. Sometimes you have to believe that you write to release, and you have to believe that what you write, ultimately, will not smother you, even while it leaves you breathless and gasping for a clearing.