What I feel more than anything else right now is anger. Anger is supposed to be a destructive emotion, but I ‘ve rarely thought that. I’m never the crazy, wild angry type. Mostly when I’m angry it’s just cold and hard. I’m in control, and a sense of bitter resolve fills me. It’s in my eye and in my voice and it pitches me forward like a rottweiler with a sniff of prey.
I’m not quite like that right now. Though I could use it being productive my anger for now is general and has to burn out before I can convert it to use. I’m angry with the world. Why not? I know the world is indifferent to me, even if it’s aware of my existence, and know in any case what I’m specifically angry at is not really the fault of something as general as ‘the world’. Still, I have to be angry with something, and the world is a good place to start.
I’m angry because I feel so helpless. I’m angry because despite everything I’ve done it feels as if my fate is sealed, as they say in the melodramas. I’m angry because I’ve had over two years of utter shit, virtually without a break. I’ve endured it, fronted up, but give us a fucking break world! I’m angry that someone like me – me! – can be denied again and again. I mean, like, how does that happen? And I’m angry because it seems like every skerrick of luck I possess is fucked.
I have to be careful about the last one. I had a friend the other day comment about how I can write a book one day about the things that haven’t worked out. I’ve had others pretty much comment how it’s preordained that given the option of bad or good my luck will always turn to the dark side. I feel it myself often enough, and have persisted thinking for fuck’s sake it has to turn some time. Doesn’t it?
It’s dangerous because when you start to blame luck you abstain from responsibility: it’s not my fault, it’s God, or the world, or something. It’s weak, and taken too far you start letting things go because you feel you have no say in it. It’s pathetic too. I don’t want to be known as the man with wretched luck. Bad luck is like a stain on the character. It may be something that acts upon you, but in the eyes of so many it equates to a personal failing. Luck becomes an attribute, like pretty eyes or intelligence, but in this case the negative. Regardless of everything else you take on your luck as a kind of persona. You take on a tragic aspect, but in the eyes of most it can only be because there is some flaw in the character, something unsavoury and deficient.
So I’m angry about that too.
I think I most of all I’m angry because it feels that nothing I can do, and nothing I am, can make a difference. I feel like Gulliver brought to earth and tied down with the puny ropes of the Lilliput’s. No matter how hard I strain however, I can’t break free.
It takes a lot of energy to persist regardless. That I have done. I continue, but now I feel like roaring. I’m furious to be brought to this. I think, how can someone as mentally agile and dextrous as I am be brought to this? How is it that someone so determined and persistent can so persistently fail to achieve what is aimed for? I struggle and strain, I roar wanting to give voice to all of this anger and frustration and, most of all, to be heard. For all my fury I feel mute; the world does not hear me. I wonder if it sees me. I crave the chance to present myself to those with whom my voice might count – please God, give me that chance – but my prayers go unanswered. I fantasise about putting up a billboard and name in lights, or else having a long letter printed in the paper listing my existential and other gripes. Fucks sake, look at me, I’m fucking H! H!
In a situation like this what is the solution? You think, there is nothing more I can do. You speak to your friends: “tell me, what do you think I should do?” You want to know. You want them to tell you something different, something you overlooked. You want to be guided, mistrustful now of the skewed perspective you have. But then they quiz you about what you are doing and what you have done, they suggest this and that, things you’ve already tried, and they scratch their heads finally, “dunno mate,” they say, no more answers than what you have.
What do you do then? You keep doing what you do, what you’ve done. You go on, disregarding the nagging sense of futility. This time you try to do it in different ways. You change your voice, your tone; you show another side of your face. You become innovative, creative, daring, anything to make a difference, to overcome the inertia of the situation you find yourself in. Again and again. All to no avail. And so you sit and type how angry you are a couple of days from being homeless, and, beyond that, who the fuck knows?
Through this you wonder if you have done something to deserve this. That’s a common thought. You reflect on that, recall the things you might have done better. Sure, there were times when you were less than what you should have been. Times when you wish you had been a better person. They’re few though really. Too few, you think, to account for so much of this. Your mind turns esoteric. I must be atoning for the sins of a past life, you joke. Something in you wonders if it could be true, all the same. There must be a reason, mustn’t there? Some cause and effect? Some rhyme, some reason? Mustn’t there?
Must there? You’re a rational man. You think logically, but all the same you’re open to the idea that there is more to life than we could ever know. Despite that you don’t really believe it in this case: What, are you telling me I was Adolf Hitler in a past life? Get outta here? No. So you made mistakes then. That’s easier to understand, and easier to accept to. You review the things you’ve done. You find the errors of judgement, of hubris, the miscalculations, the overconfidence. Once upon a time you’d have shrugged your shoulders at it: I’m human, therefore I error. You want to do that now also. You incline towards that, disbelieving that so many little mistakes could end up in such a big mess.
In the end it doesn’t matter. What happened before doesn’t count now. You tell yourself that. You know it’s true. You know that no matter what mistakes you’ve made before everything starts again now. And now. And now. Fuck, a lifetime of ‘nows’. Nows a week, a month, god knows years apart. Your chance to redeem and make it good again is perpetual because no matter what you do nothing takes. And so we return to where I started. And this is why I’m angry.
I really don’t know what comes next. It looks like I’ve lost this battle. Even my back-up plan – a job in KL – now seems kiboshed. In a week I’ll be out of my home. I’ll have people chasing me for money I haven’t got and no real prospect of getting. And I’ll be struggling to keep afloat the one real asset I have: the shop. I don’t know what my life is or where it’s going or what will become of me. Short of some unearthly intervention the cute dreams of life that fill my head will be even further away, a long way from the here and now.
So it might be. I’m furious. I have no choice but to accept it if that’s what it comes too. I won’t like it though. And I refuse to become that. I need this anger to keep me going, to power me and keep things bright while everything else shuts down.