Monday, November 15, 2010

Sorrow Vs Anger, Rounds Seven Through Twelve

Now take what happened to Tom a few weeks later. He's divorced for quite some time, but he married young and never really got the hang of meeting people and dating. "I saw this girl on the subway, right? She's cute, I even took a seat across from her just to get a good look. And during the ride, I notice a bunch of times that she's looking at me. At one point, I even looked up and down a bunch of times in a row and she was looking at me every time. And I did nothing. I'm not a forward guy, I'm not Mr Pickup Artist, hookin' up with girls on the subway. But dude, she was fuckin' checkin' me out! It wouldn't have taken much to just give myself a chance. Just say 'Hi.' Hell, just wave! Hell, just fucking smile! Fuckin' do something! Maybe you won't fucking die alone, 'cause if I keep doing nothing, that's what it feels like is going to happen."

Now, I'd originally thought that this is where sorrow trumps anger, because this is what Tom has to live with. It's not a burst of emotion, he's walking around with the knowledge that he failed to act and it may have cost him something. Whether it really did or not is not really the issue. That's the point; he doesn't know what trying to connect with this girl would have led to, and he never will. Better to try and be rejected than always wonder how your life might have turned out if only you'd captured the moment.

This kind of sorrow eats away at you. Anger's got nothing on that. But then I thought about Tom's tone when he told the story. He was indignant, almost spitting the worlds out. At who? At the girl? No, of course not, she didn't do anything wrong. Tom's anger is directed towards himself. That's not the revelation, that much is pretty obvious. But how is sorrow defined? If you think in terms of Tom, sorrow is really an inverted form of anger. If someone stole something precious from you, you'd resent them for it. Tom resents himself, and people who do generally have two reactions: acting out or acting in. Instead of taking things out on those around him, he turns it inward and responds by not allowing himself to be happy, sinking his emotional state to a low ebb that seems hard to escape.

So that's sorrow, and that's anger. So what the hell was up with that guy in the supermarket? Maybe in that case I'm mistaking anger for rage. Fuck, negative emotions are definitely not concrete. You didn't think being an angel was easy, did you? Well, maybe for Marley it is, but for reformed misanthropes like myself, there is a bit of labor involved.

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