Yesterday I was at Whole Foods to get a some produce to make a salad for dinner. I marveled at the suburban angst of the angry shoppers. Not a one of them looked happy. They were all well dressed with the latest name brands and they all looked very cross and were impatient. I used to be angry all the time and then I moved past it. I did not let their negative energy affect me.
As I left the shopping center armed with arugula and chicken and sun dried tomatoes and other goodies there was a minor incident at the exit. I had right of way and a man with his cell in his hand almost hit my car. His Lexus almost hit my rusty ol Crown Vic. I did not let it bother me. Nothing happened. I drove out of the lot. He peeled out and tailgated me with his brights flashing and horn ablaze. Then gets to my side and then swerves dangerously close to me. I keep my eyes on the road and ignore him. This is not worth it. We get to a red light and he is next to me still shouting though his raised window. I am calm. I know something he does not.
If I get out of the car. He will cower. Even if he has a gun, I will kick his ass. I know this. I do not have to shout at him. I know this because unlike him, I have fought in my adult life. He has probably not. I do not care if he goes to cross fit or wherever. I am calm and he is agitated. There was no danger and nothing to be upset about.
I remember my first taste of darkness. It was when I tasted blood as a child at the hands of a cruel man. I remember the first time in my adult life I said no more. I had been robbed at knife point and the man took my cash bag from my taxi. He casually started to walk in to his apartment complex. It was 2 days before my kid's birthday and I had his birthday present money in that bag that night. I was going to buy him a Nintendo DS. Now I had nothing. When he gets in that door I know I will never see him again. I did not let that happen. I got out of my car, did what I had to do. Got my cash bag back along with his wallet and drove off so I could park behind a gas station and use the first aid kit on my bloody knuckles.
I knew then what I was capable of and though I did not like it, I was comfortable in this new environment knowing that if I had to go dark, I could. Like the song, no one knew what it was like to be the bad man and the sad man behind blue eyes. I was now part of the night and the darkness and it was a brutal world, but it was also an honest one.
The daylight is full of false smiles and bravado and lies and games and people who cannot be honest with themselves, let alone others. The night is truth. You know where you stand with people there. The darkness is enlightening in that fashion.
In time I would leave the night and enter this world where angry men in expensive plaid shirts in Lexus' do not phase me.
Last night something would happen that would change all that. The grief of personal tragedy and the harsh reminder of how wicked this world can be reeled me and took my breath away like a shot to the gut. I spent the evening sometimes seething, sometimes crying and frustrated about how helpless I was to stop the monsters of the day from hurting the innocents of the world. The same knowledge that kept me calm during the Lexus boy event and kept me from getting robbed now consumed me. I know what I am capable of. I also know that I wanted, in that moment, to exercise that power. To make those that harm feel pain.
What kept me from allowing the darkness within to consume me? It was not the logic of a dear friend trying to talk me down from the ledge. It was that I care about one thing...one.
In this cruel world, if I ever lose that, there is nothing to hold me back.
This is not just about me.
This is about us.
Some of us cannot be honest with ourselves or others and we live in the ethos of the day with fake smiles, fake pleasantries and answering the query of how we are doing with fine.
Some of us get angry over stupid and petty things that have no importance and does not matter.
Some of us get false bravado and exercise keyboard courage online or behind the wheel of our car.
Some of us know how dark we really are and sometimes become that thing.
This is all of us in one or many of these categories.
In my case I fight the monster behind blue eyes who's love is vengeance.