That’s my secret…

“That’s my secret…, I’m always angry.” – Bruce Banner in The Avengers

I wasn’t born with a chip on my shoulder, but I figure it started early. A lot of people tell me that they can’t remember anything before the age of 6 or 7. My first memory is bright lights, similar to what you’d see in a hospital. Take that for what you will. After that, I can remember being 2 1/2 -3 yrs old. I remember living in Essex, being bitten in the armpit because of a fight over a Tonka dump truck. My first(and last) experience with chew, across the street at my friend Darcy’s house. I vomited it back up, with her dad laughing and holding me over the sink.

I remember the day my dad came home with a smashed finger, and my mom bandaging it at the table. I remember their fights, with them throwing dishes in kitchen. The first nightmare I remember is of a giraffe sticking it’s head through the window. I was so scared I ran full speed into my parent’s bedroom. My memories start early and, for the most part, they don’t stop.

Fast forward a dozen or so years, and many, many fights between parents. Homelessness, abandoning my belongings in the middle of the night, my mom’s boyfriends. Not many, but they were there, and they never quite knew what to make of me. My parents, promising to reconcile, but never doing so. The tension and anger, mixed with the love of people who know that their children were their best moments, but refusing to understand the bond that led to them. Me, watching them so many times as they danced around it. Hoping and filled with dread at the same time.

I was an angry child, but I did not know. I was quiet, intense, awkward around people but also a loyal, passionate friend who tried to make others laugh. I saw the world in black and white, but people were in so many, many shades. i could see all the colors but could not express them. These days they have an understanding of who, and why, I was. But not back then. Nobody had a clue, least of all me.

I was quiet and gregarious, intense and whimsical, introverted but friendly. I was in the world, but lived inside my head, almost exclusively. Surrounded by people, I felt distant and alone. And always, always, quietly angry. So angry but I wouldn’t say why. So angry, but no amount of pressure would make me confront it. I thought angry thoughts, raged a quiet rage, but almost never where others could see. I fought a battle I could not win, against something I did not understand, from a place I knew not where.

I was always angry. I didn’t know that but those around me did.

By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

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