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Rage

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2013, 08:22 PM
JustcallmeEd (Offline)
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Default Rage


In 1988, my wife left me... disappeared, taking my son and everything I owned with her. I was nine hundred miles from home at the time and had no one to share my feelings about the matter with, so they remained inside of me, a caustic stew which ate at my guts and threatened to explode at any moment. I tried to keep that rage inside me bottled up, but sometimes it would unexpectedly leak out around the edges, as it did on my thirtieth birthday.

I was back home, in Humboldt County. We'd taken over a part of Sequoia Park, for a picnic, and a bunch of my family was there: Mom and Dad, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. It had been a good day; lots of food, lots of fun, but it was getting late and, one by one, the other families in the park packed up and left. Soon we were the only ones.

It was my favorite time of the evening, when the sun's down but out in the open it's still light enough to see. The trees were just black silhouettes against a deep blue background. Underneath them it was dark as night.

We were sitting at a picnic table fifty feet or so from the tree line. I was talking to my four year old nephew, who was sitting across from me, when my eyes registered some flickers of white from over by the trees. Then an egg splattered against the side of his head. Before the other eggs in the air could even hit, I was up from the table and heading at a dead run for where I'd seen that flicker of white.

There's a paved trail that runs into the trees there, follows along the backside of the zoo, then drops down to the duck pond, works it's way back up the hill and ends up back where it started, right where we were. I hit that trail at full tilt, looking to catch whoever had hit my nephew with that egg. I couldn't see a thing under the trees. It was pitch dark and I knew I wasn't going to find anyone by running around. I stopped in a particularly dark area beside an old growth redwood tree, crouched down and listened.

Within a minute I had three people located by their rustlings in the brush. I was trying to figure out how to get to them, or have them come to me, when my cousin Julie's boyfriend, Chuck, came running down the pathway calling my name. I grabbed him when he got to me and told him what was up.

"This is what I want you to do," I told him. "I want you to keep running down this trail, calling my name. Follow it all the way down and back up the other side, back to where you started and don't stop hollering my name. When they don't hear me answer, they'll think I've gone through and I bet I'll get one of them coming up to the trail."

He took off and hadn't made it halfway around the park before I heard one of them working his way up towards me. As soon as he hit the asphalt, he started running my way in the dark. He thought he was home safe, but when he got even with me I stood up and clothes-lined him. He was taller than me so I had to get up on my toes to do it, but I was twisting toward him when I hit him and I continued my spin all the way around, rolling him out the length of my arm so that, when his back hit the ground, my fingers were clamped tightly around his neck.

I bounced his head off the ground then stuck my fingers in his neck, wrapping them around his esophagus until they nearly touched behind it. It felt like a vacuum cleaner hose. When Chuck finally made it back around and pulled me off of him, I was rhythmically beating his head on the pavement, chanting, "Don't. Ever. Fuck. With. A family. In. The. Park." I didn't even know what I was doing.

In the light of Chuck's flashlight I could see that the guy was bleeding out all of the orifices in his head and he wasn't very responsive. I stood him up, but he just crumpled. I yanked him up as straight as I could and when his knees started buckling, I kicked him in the ass so hard it stood him straight up. He took a couple of staggering steps before his knees gave way and I kicked him again. I walked him down the trail a little ways like that, kicking him as hard as I could every few steps as he faltered and finally he staggered off into the darkness on his own.

We walked back to the park. Everyone was gone. When those eggs hit and I took off like I did, they had no idea what was going on. They packed up and left, leaving Dad, Chuck and one of my brothers to find me. Chuck and I walked out to the street and caught Dad and Timmy going by. We crowded in the cab, with me riding shotgun and Chuck started telling them what he had seen.

There used to be a payphone by the zoo. As we drove by, I saw someone pressed against the wall next to it, trying to hide behind it while they spoke rapidly into it. Thinking it was the same guy, or one of his buddies and still all adrenalined up, I jumped out of the truck while it was rolling, grabbed the guy up below the jaw and slammed him up against the wall several times, repeating my Don't-ever-fuck-with-a-family-in-the-park mantra while his eyeballs rolled and his feet kicked around in the air. Then I ran back around, jumped in the truck and said, "Let's go."

They all stared at me for a moment, then Dad put it into gear and we rolled on. After awhile, Dad asked, "What happened back there?" All I could tell him was, "They hit Tyler with an egg." I really couldn't explain the rest of it. It was just rage.


Last edited by JustcallmeEd; 11-12-2013 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:40 PM
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Nice one Ed, I liked this piece, especially the 'Don't-ever-fuck-with-a-family-in-the-park' mantra part. This flowed really well and I think you really brought out your display of rage pretty well.

One question though, did this really happen and if my math did not fail me, this piece was the work of a fifty five year old guy?

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Old 09-13-2013, 08:06 AM
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Everything I post in this section is exactly as I remember it.

I'll be 53 in two days (Sep. 15). My thirtieth birthday was almost two years after she left. It took fifteen years to get rid of my anger and it took getting cancer to do it.

I'm OK now.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:10 AM
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This left me with an overriding sense of anger and fury all wrapped up in a ball of 'trying to be normal'. If you bottle things up long enough, somewhere in the fermentation period, when you least expect it, your likely to blow and anyone around you will get covered in flying glass and goo. And it might not take much to make it happen.

I can't put it into words, but this piece totally makes sense to me.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:37 AM
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I think it had something to do with my frustration over my inability to do anything about the loss of my wife and son as opposed to my ability to do something, right now, about the threat (however small) to my nephew. In my mind, after stewing over it for two years, it was time to act and I did. I don't think the egg-throwers expected the reaction they got.

I'm just thankful no one got hurt any worse than they did.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:10 PM
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:13 PM
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I do not normally read the non-fiction, as this is not an area that greatly interests me. But this was brilliant.

I may have used a couple of different phrases or words, but that is just differing styles, what you have here works extremely well.

If you break it down to what was being told as a plot synopsis, it wouldn't sound capitivating. The sign of great writing is to make something that, on the face of it, sounds like a run of the mill story and make it compelling. This is something you have done here, and I believe it is in no small part due to the meaning this has for you that oozes out when you read it and takes you over. I really felt like I was that man in the park, that I was feeling that rage.

Summary: Awesome.

PS: I've nominated this piece for the Members' Choice.
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Last edited by risk10; 11-11-2013 at 11:46 PM..
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2013, 09:13 PM
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It was an intense few moments. Once I realized what that flicker of white was, I knew I wasn't leaving that park until someone paid.

It was probably an over-reaction on my part. It was just some eggs, but I got to do what anyone who has ever witnessed an attack on their family and been helpless to do anything about it wishes they could have done: I caught them and let them know what I thought.

Small satisfaction maybe, but I wasn't used to failure and I needed a win.

Thanks for the crits. I was trying to accurately convey the feeling of the night. I guess I did.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:03 AM
JustcallmeEd (Offline)
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Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
I do not normally read the non-fiction, as this is not an area that greatly interests me. But this was brilliant.

I may have used a couple of different phrases or words, but that is just differing styles, what you have here works extremely well.

If you break it down to what was being told as a plot synopsis, it wouldn't sound capitivating. The sign of great writing is to make something that, on the face of it, sounds like a run of the mill story and make it compelling. This is something you have done here, and I believe it is in no small part due to the meaning this has for you that oozes out when you read it and takes you over. I really felt like I was that man in the park, that I was feeling that rage.

Summary: Awesome.

PS: I've nominated this piece for the Members' Choice.
Thank you, risk10, for the nomination.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:22 AM
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Who in the world eggs a kid? I'd have beat them down too!
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:38 PM
Julie Garrison (Offline)
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Default Short Nonfiction -- Rage

Ed,

That was well done. A lot of honesty there. We have all felt rage like that. Reading it, I almost felt more sorry for you than the egg thrower -- carrying around all that caustic rage.

Good read.

Julie
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