Forty years after Vietnam, I wake with my hands, squeezing and hating and squeezing. I gasp for breath. Then the rage dissipates and leaves behind flummoxed, groveling ghosts, roiling sandy and red-faced on storm-churned mental beaches.


I’ve stopped cars on urban streets, raging. I’ve raged at television, newspapers, republicans, roadcrews, and little round kids in well-marked crosswalks. Rage turns me to blue-necked Shiva astride a 1,000-year storm; a mustard-seed of frustration, a pebble-caused stumble, slams me to hurricane detonation; kin of stifled sex, its trillion watts more evilly frenzied.


When I catch my breath, what remains—always breathing— is the rage: rage ejaculating out the tips of my throttling fingers into another person, rage snapping gladly out of control, rage irrational, venting rage, purgative-high-pressure-steam-rage, rage steam-rolling, rage raging unconscious. Rage the Destroyer.


It was decades ago, in one of the 48 contiguous states. I had blacked out. I come to with my hands around her neck, squeezing and hating and squeezing.  I realize I am about to kill her. A blue-hue irradiates her face. I slacken my hands. I say nothing and leave. I never see her again. I return weeks later and move out. It was long after Vietnam.



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