Once, when I had a day job that often made me froth and rage with incandescent despair, I noticed that the more I raged, the more cheerfully I answered the phone. This went unnoticed by any save my sister, who once called and heard me sing out in saccharine tones, “Good afternoon, Day Job Incorporated! How may I help you?” and said in stricken tones, “Dear GOD, what is WRONG?”
In a similar vein, today I toiled my way to the grocery store through endless streams of totally unreasonable traffic. I avoided collisions with people driving irrationally and with 2" dowels sticking yards out of pickup trucks into the parking lot, and found that my heart was full of aggravation with my fellow man. In fact, to quote our friend Ishmael (with the exception that it was a crisp chill December within and without my soul), I did feel that it required “a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off…” If not their heads. I avoided making eye contact, for fear of accidentally killing people with mind-daggers, and felt that if I were to inadvertently open my mouth, a sheet of baleful green fire might emerge, or at least that noise the monster made in LOST.
In this condition I gathered my vegetables and slinked to the register with my raw poultry. The cashier, a rosy-cheeked lad I had never before seen, asked me for my co-op membership card, and I, coiled in around my core of misanthropy and wrath…said, “Oh yes, here it is,” in a voice precisely one millimeter tall.
I’m amazed he could even hear me. Note to self for future writing reference: humans can be awfully contrarian.