It is normal and essential to proceed with our everyday life by utilizing perceptions that reveal only fragments of objects, the beginnings of action and bits of conversation, inferences as to another’s intent, and, as a rule, only a sketchy knowledge of his background. Such incompleteness of input leaves large areas of potential uncertainty. (Cameron 1974, p. 678).
Have you ever wished for someone’s demise? Have you ever hated with such intensity that if the object of your derision were to meet with an untimely accident you would have to hope there would be for you an alibi, because such an accident would draw suspicion upon you? I have been there twice. It is not a comforting place to be.
The first was the sociopathic girlfriend of my ex. She wanted to destroy me and in her attempts, I would imagine my revenge to help me cope. There were moments where I would fantasize her death, giving myself the satisfaction of picturing a silvery knife so sharp, its blade razor thin slipping along the surface of her neck, aligning with skin and veins, blood seeping and pooling around her nape. At other moments I divined her foot, uselessly pressing a brake line that had been cut, her car careening helplessly over a guardrail and smashing into a tree.
Eventually I learned to circle the wagons against this woman and she turned her attentions elsewhere, but not before making my life a living hell. After a time the revenge fantasies ceased and life continued not quite as before; I carried a little cloud about me for a while. I needed redemption. I’m not sure it ever came, but I did move to a new place where I could remove her from my head. She took up too much space there for a time.
In recent months I move in and out of hatred again. This one certainly takes more space than is deserved or warranted. For every moment it is in my head, I leave no space for love or creativity. It doesn’t come often, but when it does, it fills me with the intensity of a raging conflagration, burning and spitting and roiling. No wonder hell is described as fire; hating someone is a sort of hell and it blisters and scalds. I know enough pop psychology to know that such intense hatred only harms the one who is feeling it. On an intellectual level I understand its ramifications, and so I bend my body into yogi poses, pound my feet in Nike sneakers, force my mind away from conversations that can have no solution, breathe down into the soles of my feet. It works–most of the time. But then it doesn’t and with it I must contend again.
Into this hatred happened a very young, very naive and stupid girl. She was like some desperate and obsequious puppy, hoping to be liked, having no idea what the hell she had stumbled into. I wanted to kick her. I had no desire to befriend this naive creature trying so hard to be nice. I wanted to fold her in half, destroy her hopefulness, rub her face in the anguish and rage she could not know or understand. She tripped along, coy and carefree, like a puppy with her tongue lolling, tail wagging between her legs, hoping I would be friendly. Because she came from the one I so despised, I hated who she was and what she represented before she ever said a word. I wanted her to back away, to get out, to leave what she had found. She was not welcome. She had no business. I wanted her to go and to take her syrup with her. After I aimed several poison darts in her direction, she started to get the idea. For a moment I felt sorry for her and tried to warn her against where she was headed, but she wanted none of that, and nipped at me. For this nip, I bit. Hard.
I have been advised to write, to rend this vitriol from my veins. Write she says. Write. It doesn’t matter what you say, just write. If you can place this things that are in your head in a place outside of you then you will come to a place where they no longer matter. Write. Remove them from you. Link them to someplace else. And so I do. I have for today for this moment softened the edges of the rage.