If You Screamed for Eight Years

I sent this to a friend who is really, really angry. I don’t know if it will help, but it can’t hurt, right?

If you screamed for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

Eight years, seven months and six days of my life. Filled with a rage so great it was an assault, a tsunami that roiled and churned, gaining power and height, threatening to drown us all. Eight years of hating, an acid volcano, spewing a gas so toxic it created a force field that repelled others from me; only the masochistic, vapid, or damaged sniffed my sulphuric halo, then continued to an approach.

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

What you did was unforgivable. You lured me in like a firefly to a jar and then waited for the light to go out. You set traps. You stole from me – my money, my time, my hope, my pride. You bore false witness and turned others against me. You hit me when I was down. You shoved bamboo under my fingernails, waterboarded me, deprived me of food, water, sleep. You made me stand in discomfort for hours in the too cold or too hot, the atmosphere of your pleasure. You hurt me. You broke me. You did this to me. It was you. You,You,You. Bang, bang, bang.

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

I hate you so much that I am a snake, poised and ready, always ready, to sink my fangs in and release, to inject, ejaculate, emit, imbue, to impregnate my poison vitriol, my bitter wrath, my pain-soaked agony into your pink-fleshed, chubby-cheeked world, your possibilities, your unsuspecting, curled-up, thumb-sucking dreams.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

For eight years, seven months, and six days, I have cradled you, my hatred, spite and need for vengeance, nested in a steel-wool cloud, encapsulated in titanium, warmed by my fury and cooled by my loneliness, in a sealed chamber of my heart. My life force has pooled amniotically behind you, feeding you, keeping you strong, while slowly, slowly, I have begun to wither and shrink. First, it was almost undetectable; my fingernails turned brittle and yellowed, my hair, follicle by follicle, grayed. The winds of rage etched lines between my brows, at the corners of my mouth, on the plane of my forehead, as surely as waters carve the mountains and limestone shifts over time to swallow cities. My stomach is clawed from within. I have no appetite and I cannot sleep. My colors have muddied to gray, and when I close my eyes, I hear a thin, whining scream. My own, or just time, crying at its own passing?

A cockroach will live nine days without its head, before it starves to death.

Nine long days of running blind, frantic, unable to blink, taste, kiss, smile, breathe in, see the sky. Nine long days of surviving by sheer will, because you have lost the sense to realize that enough is enough. Nine days is nothing compared to eight years.

The Victorian Timetable of Family Mourning sets the appropriate time for grieving a husband at two to three years. Wives get three months.

Who am I when I am by myself? An appendage chewed off and left behind to escape a trap? Leftovers in Tupperware, sighing lovingly when released, unsealed, happy to be reheated and enjoyed again, content to know I make do, happy to be consumed in a pinch, so easy? Am I to carry the flame, the torch of discontent, high over my head, a beacon for the disgruntled, a glow that tells the bitter, the mutilated, the burned that I am one of them, boldly and forever? Must I scream? Must I cry? For how long?

Queen Victoria wore black for her beloved Albert from his death in 1861 for forty years, until she died.

Winston Churchill’s last words were, “Oh, I’m so bored with it all.” Living a non-life, picking a scab until gangrene sets in, the act of slowly dying…so boring.

Flies hum in the key of F.

There is something lovely about being very quiet and still, about digging down, past “what has happened” and beneath “what is”, beyond “what will become of me” and “what if things had been different”, and finally, after so much digging, of becoming tired, exhausted even, and sitting  in the shade,  back against the smooth skin of tree whose leaves are swaying gently in a delicate breeze, sipping the subconscious, almost slipping into a well-earned reverie. And right before you remember to hold on to what keeps you awake, you hear something, a soft sound, like waves in the distance or the stars pulsating. It’s probably a tree sighing as it catches the sun to shield you from its rays. In that moment the symphony of the universe tunes up, and everyone, everything, leans into an instrument and breathes, inhaling the hum, the eternal chord that binds us together, sings to us why we go on, what is important, and who we really are, and exhales harmony. We are all alone, and we are all together.

“I am” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

“I am” is the longest, most complicated story I will ever read.

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