“You’re two apologies short of an anger management problem,”
she says, folding hands with chewed nails into the v of her lap.
I mimic, adopt a placating posture, explain—I don’t get angry.
I avoid confrontation, use the restroom two floors down to eschew
through-stall conversations, take the stairs rather than risk
the possibility of an elevator encounter. Anger, I say, is a waste
of time. I am becoming fluent
in the language of deep breathing and long distance running. You see—
“Have you ever wanted to shoot someone?” Haven’t you? Listen,
I don’t support the NRA, don’t even buy American. I am familiar
with Harris’s three principles of self-defense and still do not
believe safety is the second amendment. Lady, I don’t get angry. I just
imagine. I have pushed one thousand dreams down stairwells,
nurtured countless cancers. I have rubbernecked along
phantom highways of despair, have ground the heel of my favorite
black boots into the neck of the corporate machine. I have never
hit someone who did not deserve it.