DAILY PROMPT: EXPRESS YOURSELF
Tell us about a time you couldn’t quite get your words or images to express what you wanted to express. What do you think the barrier was? For bonus points, try again.
Rage. That’s what strikes me dumb, rising like a wave from the inner primordial sludge to engulf the vocal chords and pool in the mouth, threatening to turn words to inglorious splutters, or worse – the humiliation of impotent froth.
Oh how I’ve longed for a blinding eloquence, to spout at the unjust like a fountain peeing well-aimed vitriol on their shameless heads!
But it’s not going to happen. I learned as a child, after an unfortunate incident where I tried to hit the perpetrator, that a dignified silence is better. She had already learned. She walked away with a laugh.
I’ve also learned that rage, like revenge, is a dish better served cold. It was a wonderful occasion, now a series of vivid images to be taken out and chuckled over in moments of solitude: my boss behind the computer desk, holding the proverbial axe over my head when I dared to questioned his latest outrage: my boss in my office the following morning, open-mouthed at my apparent calm: my boss in the two weeks ‘grace’ I was given to prove myself worthy (ie grovel), scrabbling to find spurious, face-saving ‘deals’ to keep me there for a punitive half price. And then the glorious climax, when I finally stepped into the lift with a smile of genuine happiness and a wave to the roomful of avid onlookers, knowing that my replacement – younger, prettier, and a whole lot dumber – hadn’t a clue what she was doing, particularly since I hadn’t been allowed to train her.
Not nice of me. Not kind. But oh I did enjoy it!
And the secret of my flawless performance? In the hours between the hovering axe and the absence of grovel, I’d had time to calm down: to go home and write a fluent, explicit tirade regarding his ethics, morals, business practices and shameless manipulation, followed by a logical (and far more objective) analysis of the situation. I’d also done the maths. If I was careful, I could survive for a while without the job, and write instead. I had nothing to lose.
Could I do it again? Possibly. But I heard later that sadly, he’d had to let me go because I was showing signs of early dementia, so maybe (more than twenty years later) I’m now wandering in the delusional mists of la-la land. Who knows?