You’ll Like Me When I’m Angry

I went in circles trying to settle on a opening line because I couldn’t convince myself it was worth it to complain on a blog.  For some reason, I felt there was no need for it if I was complaining to people who already knew the problem.  Aren’t I supposed to be part of the solution?  What is this really about here?  Is it about commiseration?  Actually, yes, that’s the idea.  People are supposed to read what you write and go “Yeah, I agree with that.  You’re so smart, Matt.  Thank you for reminding me what it is I should be angry about.”  Longer response than necessary, but it’s still nice to get reinforcement.

Just like my overthinking writing, I overthink what I should be mad about in my relationships with people.  I have often pushed down feelings of anger because I see no point in being angry.  It won’t change anything.  There will be no justice served, no rights wronged, no minds changed if I express my anger.  But in fact, this is where I’m wrong.  I need to learn to open up my vents and express my emotions in real time.  My delayed anger serves no one, and the added honesty will actually improve my relationships.  When I was a child, I asked my mother if she still loved me even when she was mad at me.  I guess then and subconsciously now I associate having anger with a person as the absence of love for them.  My inner child thinks that for a relationship to last you can’t fight ever and it’s always love and never anger.  Combine that with my natural tendency to be slow to anger and you have me in situations where I should be angry but I don’t know it till later.  It’s like experiencing a sonic boom.  I should be mad at the plane going by, but instead I just watch it.  Then later when the sound hits me, I realize I missed an opportunity.

There are plenty of examples where I should have expressed my anger toward a loved one.  The ones that are in the forefront of my mind are times when I was pissed at my girlfriend and didn’t tell her.  I won’t get into any of those details, but looking forward to potential relationships I want to make sure I don’t push my feelings aside for the comfort of the other person.

Wow, isn’t this fun?  You the reader are embarking on a journey here with me.  You get to witness a thirty-two year-old man discover what it takes to be in a adult relationship.  Isn’t that something?  I guess though some people never get to that point and they stay emotionally adolescent for their entire lives.  My advice to them is to listen to more podcasts.  There are tons of them where hippies talk about their emotions as well as presence and other existential junk.  I tell you, I don’t know where I would be without them.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Set It To Rights.”


New Restaurant Poem

Is there an emotion conducive to your writing?  There’s an animated short from 2007 called “The Danish Poet”, and in it one of the characters writes best when he’s happy.  I wondered for a while if that was how I was, but now I don’t think so.  Looking back, I’ve written pieces I’m very proud of during times of sadness.  I think the factor that influences the writing is the intensity of the emotion I feel.  If I feel strongly about something, the words come much easier.

Some of my best writing has occurred in places I don’t spend a lot of time.  Occasionally, I go to a restaurant and scribble notes while I eat.  Around 2pm yesterday, I picked a Chinese buffet.  There was hardly anyone there and my waiter spoke very softly.  It was like I was in a library.  I could faintly hear Chinese pop music like someone at the record listening station had taken his headphones off and turned them up.  Something about that sound reminded me of something I love, so I wrote a poem about it.  I hate to be vague, but I don’t want to say what it was until you read the poem I wrote . . . and then I still probably won’t tell you.  I like to see what people think about my work without me telling them what it was I meant to say.  I’m like the preschool teacher that tells the kids to finger paint a gorilla.  I get some pretty messed-up-looking pictures and I say, “Good Job!  You did so well!”

They ask me if
I’ve seen her before
Do I know her face?
Do I know
How she hides at night
And how frightening it is
To be near her
In those hours
After the sun is down?

You can hear
Her voice at night
It’s as loud
As if she were
Standing next to you
But she’s hidden in the distance
She is everywhere at once
After the sun is down

Keep your distance at night
She’ll fascinate you
She’ll mesmerize you
She’ll draw you in
And you won’t know
Until it’s too late
That she’s captured you
Her pleasant darkness
Will swallow you up
And you’ll be hers forever

So I say yes
I know her
I’ve sang with her
After the sun was down
Staring off into a distance
Only imagining she was
Looking back
I never know
Until the morning
Dances across her face
And even then
I’m not safe. 

A friend of mine recently told me how she was puzzled that a person like me who fears rejection can actually want to be open and vulnerable to others through writing and performing.  I’d never thought of that before, but it’s true.  I guess I’ll just try and share my work with as many people as possible, because the more people there are reading/listening, the greater chance that not everyone will hate it.  But to reassure myself, I’ll always remember the quote from the wiseman:

             Haters gonna hate.