They say that drowning is the worst way to die.
I used to think I was drowning. In “wet anger.”
“Wet anger” is when you barely scurry out of work in time to dive into your car, as the tears turn into steam on the dashboard because you couldn’t take a few seconds to turn on the air conditioning before breaking down. “Wet anger” is when your husband asks you how your day was and your lip starts quivering before he can even sneak in a kiss. “Wet anger” is when your co-workers ask you how you are and your shaking hands have to pretend to write that email, which is somehow more important than their question because you don’t want them to know that this job is draining the life out of you.
“Wet anger” is when the emotions pound against your head in the shower and whisper degenerate nothings amidst the steam. “Wet anger” is when you wonder if your water bill is actually paying for salt water because that’s all you taste on your tongue when silent sobs to God bubble forth. “Wet anger” is falling against the tub in the fetal position while you utter polite excuses like “I dropped the shampoo bottle” or “It’s nothing, don’t worry!” to your husband who has his ear pressed to the door.
But he does worry.
Because it’s not nothing.
Because even though you haven’t eaten as often or as much as you should, you still weigh a little more than a shampoo bottle. And the bottle never whimpers on it’s way down.
That’s what drowning feels like.
They say that drowning is the worst way to die because you can’t breathe – no matter how hard you try – and all the pressure pushes against you like someone ramming you into a brick wall with a car and ever so s-l-o-w-l-y stepping on the gas pedal.
But in the end, it’s not so bad. In the end, when the bubble gum has reached it’s bubble capacity, the translucent membrane shudders and surrenders to the pressure. Like the sudden relief of an anticipated sneeze.
And that relief – well, that’s “dry anger.”
“Dry anger” is when you crawl out of work, slither into your car, and melt in the convection oven that every car turns into in July. The keys are in your hand, but it’s too much effort to put them in the ignition and turn on the air conditioning – why not just sit and be miserable in the heat? Because then at least you have something else to be miserable about. “Dry anger” is when you husband asks how your day is and tries to kiss you, but you look right past him when you mutter your answer and you forget to kiss him back. And maybe, you even forget to ask the same question back – but also you forgot to make dinner or wash the sheets or pay the electric bill, so you can just add it to the list of things that probably won’t happen. “Dry anger” is the crack in your voice when you respond to your coworker that you don’t acknowledge and they try to ignore.
“Dry anger” is as bitter as the grounds in the bottom of the coffee mug that you’ve tried to sip for days, but keep putting in the microwave because it seems to never end – kinda like your life. “Dry anger” is when you lay down in your unwashed sheets for 8 hours with your eyes closed, but when you open them, you feel even more tired than before. Like you haven’t slept at all, except apparently you did because of the sleep encrusted on your lashes. “Dry anger” is when your husband tries to coax you into the shower and you can’t remember the last time you took one.
But don’t worry. At least you’re not drowning anymore.