She nods, not lifting her eyes from the words on the screen, and mumbles a “hmmm…”
“But the worst part is that I get so angry about it, cursing out loud, speeding up, trying to make eye contact to give the person the stink eye and stab them with my utter disgust. Why would I even care? Why would I make myself so worked up?”
Still bathed in the glow of the screen and not looking up, she responds distractedly, “I don’t know.”
“And I immediately check myself and wonder how I could lose my cool like that, let someone just take me out of myself into the hate zone. My thoughts get ripped from wherever they were to this horrid place some stupid stranger took me to–with my permission. It frustrates me that I cannot resist…cannot NOT react.”
She looks up from the computer, and turns all the way around in her chair, 180 degrees, and faces her now–she with her back turned who rummages through the refrigerator as her complaints dissolve into questions that perplex the vegetables she picks up one by one–broccoli rabes, Japanese eggplant, and summer squash–examines and then shuffles to the far side of the shelf.
“Then my reaction to having reacted like an ass, an overly angry ass, is even worse, just berating myself for being out of control and habitually reactive. I mean I just want to let these things pass without getting my adrenaline pumping—just once. But the whole thing is just one big ugly pattern that I can’t change….ingrained, like….a disease…Have you seen the…? I think I put it…
Oh! I didn’t hear you sneak up behind me. Aw baby, that’s so nice…you’re so toasty warm. Just what the doctor ordered mmmm…”