Rage

I’ve always been afraid of RAGE, namely my own.

Somewhere around 10 years old, I created a place inside me just for RAGE, put it in there and decided to never let it out. But RAGE is a wily one and it put a hit on me from the inside… it got SADNESS & NUMBNESS to step in and do the dirty work. There was never a full-blown take-over but whenever a situation called for RAGE, the other two worked me over real good.

My identity was formed around this: a fear of RAGE and those unexpected knock-downs by SADNESS & NUMBNESS. “Chill Cliff” emerged, a leaf in the wind, a dude okay with everything and everybody. Certainly, a likable lad, though not completely whole, not yet.

And as my identity surfaced, I feared RAGE all the more because I thought it might take over entirely if I let it out of its container. I worried it would cover everything else I’d created like a thick black ink spilling over a page.

It took many things to get me to open that box again – sweet, patient girlfriends, pop songs and mixed tapes, ventures with vices, thousands of journal entries, daring bits of fiction, caring high school teachers and college professors, more girlfriends, sensitive boys and sensitive men, and storybook reconciliation with those that love me more than life itself.

It worked.

I became brave enough to let RAGE out its box, and I smashed that fucking box to smithereens, cuz boxes have no place in the body. And though I was scared, I let RAGE run free. It broke a few things, it turned some heads, then quieted down. In fact, that’s kind of its M.O. Come out hard, break shit, and disappear.

It’s taken some time but I’ve come to understand RAGE. It’s a wrecking ball, an alarm clock, a microphone, and a dump truck. It serves me well, just as all the others do. Its message is hard to read because it’s cloaked in violence.

But I get that, too. RAGE is always pushing harder than you want it to, always coming out at the wrong time because, much like a screaming, kicking child or a deep dark secret, it’s constantly being told to go away.

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