My friend and I used to collect bottles and fire up our anger and scream things and throw bottles against this one wall and then clean up afterwards. ISO a new wall.
This one wall was perfect. It bordered an amphitheater, an open field behind and on the left, and a bikepath with woods beyond on the right. Having a lot of open space around felt good and safe. I felt like we’d disturb no one plus we’d also put no one in the position of having to confront us about the smashing. I screamed something and threw. It helped.
One day, two theater students approached us gently. They seemed to struggle with not wanting to impede our free expression and wanting to point out that barefoot students and community members could cut themselves. They were right. It sucked.
I was mad and repressed, generally and particularly. Yet my friend and I belonged to this community – I loved this school – and couldn’t argue that we’d be sure to get all the glass up. I dunno…maybe if we’d had a Shop Vac. I’d had several jobs by that time, but never one with a Shop Vac. Wish I’d thought of that. Dammit if those theater students weren’t so nice about it.
At home with my family, I was yelled at and forced to clean up a lot of things. Blamed for it, too. Like, it was almost never something I did, either. On my own (for the purpose of this story I call being at college “on my own”), in the absence of an overlord, I screamed and threw bottles for really fantastic therapeutic value. And then I cleaned them up, although not enough.
In my mind, in a rare event, I kept separate being asked to consider the consequences to others of shattering bottles, and being forced by my overlord to clean things. Mind you, I never in a million years would have broken something intentionally at home. No therapeutic value would have balanced out the punsishment I’d have taken.
So, that’s a time and place I felt safe and free. I’m thinking about it now. I just got my Disability income letter, and it couldn’t be worse. I’m in for a big fight; my home here in a Level II Congregate Care Facility doesn’t feel safe and free; plus in the meantime, my income has been almost halved. I’m fucking pissed and not surrounded by woods and streams and tender theater students. I’m surrounded by a city, and a neighbor whose bass constantly causes me headaches and panic attacks. I have nowhere safe to go out and retreat to and it’s goddamn fucking exhausting. You know. I know you know.
You do know. Thanks.