Nominations are open for the AARP Purpose Prize, which honors extraordinary individuals who use their life experience to make a better future for all. Learn more.

Reply
Valued Social Butterfly
0
Kudos
1433
Views
0
Replies

RAGE

1,433 Views
Message 1 of 1

 

Five Broken Pieces

I was reminded of my youthful temper when I recently re-watched Five Easy Pieces.  After his obsessively clingy girlfriend (Karen Black) makes the antihero (Jack Nicholson) feel guilty for not taking her with him to his family’s home during an emergency, he leaves her, rushes to his car, maniacally whacks away at the steering wheel, and curses—wildly spewing out tons of crude four-letter epithets . Among this outpouring are words none too flattering to women. Drained of spite—and spittle—he returns to fetch his female nemesis. I was amazed that I had forgotten that violent physical and verbal onslaught, considering that it so accurately reflected some of my antics as a young adult.

My mother once innocently asked me why my fiancée was so moody that night. I didn’t like what I felt was an interrogation, so I flung a glassful of wine at my mother, just missing her head as it splattered against the wall. Instead of apologizing, I ran out of the house, cursing unintelligibly.

Another time when I was frustrated during a long trip home after visiting my mother-in-law, I threw my new watch against the pavement outside of a gas station. I don’t recall swearing too much (my kids were nearby), but I do remember that my watch was in slivers.

My wife, soon after we were married, made an offhanded comment about the record I had just bought—I got so mad that I bent it until it broke in half. At that time, I grinned diabolically; curses weren’t necessary, although during the first few years of our marriage, I did resort to ferocious but futile swearing jags whenever we quarreled.

But I have come a long way since then. Just yesterday, as I was rearranging some furniture, I accidentally bumped a table that contained two ornate ceramic cases that I kept protected in my study so that the grandkids wouldn’t knock them over. Yet I was the culprit—the containers smashed onto the floor because I was careless. Instead of having a fit or cursing, I softly lamented, “No, No, No!” And then I got a little teary eyed as I explained to my wife what happened to these treasured items that we were to display in our Hawaiian condo. I expected my wife to get angry. But she too has mellowed over the years. We both were disappointed, but there were no recriminations.

However, I wonder what would have happened if those relatively new, inexpensive knick-knacks were family heirlooms to be passed on throughout the generations. My rage might well have rivaled Jack Nicholson’s.

schlomo
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
1433
Views
0
Replies