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ImageSometimes this guy needs to let the cork pop.  It’s healthy for me, my typically serene and jovial exterior often turned on as a shield to keep the rage inside, tearing me up if I don’t find a release.  There are plenty of constructive methods to calm the beast and cleanse the soul –

*exercise that requires an internal focus such as riding a bicycle,  playing softball or basketball  but not golf because it usually adds to the rage (my style of basketball has evolved into a combo of outside shooting and shoving my way under the basket)

*listening to almost any type of music with the volume turned up (give me a dose of Chris Cornell and Soundgarden, PLEASE)

*writing (much of the fiction I write is personal and therapeutic and written selfishly for myself)

*mowing the lawn or digging the garden

*couch time with my Sheltie, Nick, who is the most properly affectionate dog in the entire world and who would sit next to me with his head across my chest all day if I would allow

* time with my daughter, the one person in the entire world who seems to both understand me and accept me as I am (she is also the only one in my family who shares my love for loud music)

And then there is prayer, the type where I go to someplace where I can’t be heard, talk to God out loud, scream at Him as the rage comes to the surface.  There are times when my prayers come close to blasphemy because sometimes I just let God have it.  Like a boy, I take it out on my father who I think has to take it from me.  I know God does, knows the process I need to go through, knows how necessary it is for me to let it out.  Funny thing is that in the middle of my rage I can literally feel the comfort of God’s hand on me.  Call me strange for saying that, there are plenty of agnostics who have mocked me for similar statements, but it’s real.

I am not a person who is prone to cursing.  It’s less about my Christian faith than it is that rough language not being what I am about.  But every once in a while, when that cork needs to pop, when I am alone, I will allow an F or S bomb to drop.  Do I ask God to forgive me for it?  Not usually.  God knows me.  If I direct the bomb at God, I do.   That has happened.

Sunday morning, after church, I had an hour to myself at home.  After two weeks off of work to recover from foot surgery, I had one last day to recuperate before returning to work.  The weekend had been rough, my thirteen year old son as well as my wife testing my patience since Friday evening.  Most of the claims related to the doctors and surgery had come in and I decided to take that free hour to organize, as well as develop a plan for our finances for the next few months.  Rarely do I get peace when I work on the family finances, constant interruptions and demands usually beginning as soon as I start.  That alone is a frustration.  Why I thought that one hour was going to be any different, I don’t know.  My wife and son each have a cell phone.

My work area at the downstairs kitchen table was organized.  I began to dig into the spreadsheet  I have set up for our bills and bank accounts.  The first call was from my wife.  Then my son.  Then my wife again.  Then my son – a tag team match.  They knew what I was trying to do, but they didn’t care.  Were they questions that could wait until they got home.  You bet. 

Nick needed to go outside in between phone calls.  My cork was already straining to hold on.  I hobbled to the door to let him out, went back to the table to answer yet another call from my son, finished the call, went back to the door to call the dog in.  Nick had been distracted, normally not a problem, he was not in my line of sight and did not respond to my calls.  I shut the sliding glass down, turned around, and….


Loud.  A sonic boom.  The cork popped and bounced around the empty room.

My son had his hand on the doorknob to come into the kitchen from the garage.  He opened the door, yelled at me for dropping the bomb and kept on going as his mother followed him inside the house.  The boy wants to be king and he was seizing the opportunity to dethrone the current monarch. 

My son has heard a curse word from me twice in his lifetime.  And he has not let me forget that all week.  I simply refuse to acknowledge him as he works on me, tries to gain control by using the F word against me.  I won’t let it happen.

Chris Cornell sure sounded good this morning.