“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!” I wailed, shaking with rage as I rolled to a stop behind a caterpillar of red lights, orange cones sitting stubbornly in the middle of the road. I wasn’t really sure who I hated at that moment—God, you, her, the girl who took too long filling up her stupid big-ass Suburban at the gas station on the way home, the idiot who sat in the middle of the turning lane so I couldn’t see oncoming traffic, but these days it feels like I’m always hating someone. After two doubles in a row, a fight with you, and our dog having dental surgery, I wasn’t having the best week, and I just wanted to be home, amid all of my dirty dishes and islands of clothes, my shitty liquor and anxiety pills.
While I am not particularly religious, I always feel a certain aversion towards screaming at the sky. It just feels wrong, even with my carefree upbringing, to yell at God or whoever’s up there, so I like to fool myself into pretending there’s this big Asshole Deity in the sky whom I created purely for moments like these, just so I wouldn’t feel as if I was tempting the real thing to smite me straight to the center of the Earth. Asshole Deity likes to drive me slowly around the bend, just a pinch at a time, including but not limited to making me lose my keys when I’m almost late for work, causing traffic, overdrafting money when I’m already down to $4 for the next four days, telling some random asshole to tell me to SMILE when it’s a damn miracle I even got out of bed. Oh, he also enjoys taking away my bonus a month before Disney World, giving me the dropsies, randomly making me remember the day when I was stupid enough to look at your iPad and learn how you really felt, usually at a really opportune moment, like rush hour at work. He likes that one a lot. Hell, he stopped me three times from typing this, like he can’t bear to hear the truth about himself. He’s like that Mayhem dude from the Allstate commercials, the inspiration behind Alanis Morissette’s Ironic. He drops feather upon feather on the minefield that lives in my chest. And me being saddled with a short temper and an even shorter fuse, this causes me to lose my shit. Often. Loudly.
So I yell, and I scream, and I pretend that all this yelling and screaming and Party of Five behavior is draining the black stuff out of me, but really it’s just bouncing off of the ground and slapping me straight in the nose again, like sadistic Flubber. I’m trying to empty a sinking boat with a bucket here, and I’m tired.
So there’s the standard definition of anger, and then there’s this big, gooey, sulfur-reeking hole in the middle of my gut that breeds the ugliest of uglies. I need it, because without it, there’s that epidemic of sadness that I’m not ready for. I hate it because it’s turning my heart into a septic tank. I’m afraid to let go of it, because if I do, that means I forgive. And to me, forgiveness feels like permission.
If I forgive you, then it feels as if you get away with everything. If I forgive God for the things he’s forced me to give up, then what’s to stop him from taking even more? If I forgive her, then that means I have to accept that she gets you at your best when I had to endure your worst, and what kind of backwards-ass shit is that? You hurt me, hand over fist, time after time, and I’m the one that has to say it’s okay? Um, bye, Felicia.
Oh, I know what they say, all those mealy and limp Facebook memes worth a dollar a dozen. The best revenge is a good life. Forgiveness is not for them, it’s for you. It’s rainbows and care bears and unicorns made of chocolate, and girl, it is divine. Hatred and revenge only end up hurting one person, and it’s not the target. That’s all fine and good until you run out of buckets and boats. Until forgiveness feels like the gun you handed someone to murder you with. Over and over and over.
I am all out of buckets and boats. I am, however, not out of ocean.
I’m not ready to forgive you, or her, or God. I’m not ready to forgive the lady at the gas station, the dumbass in the middle of the road. I’m not ready to forgive any of them, because I’m tired of being the one who has to do it. How do you get off scot-free? Why does she get to inherit everything I so freely offered to you, and how is it that God is just going to stand back and let it happen? Asshole Deity is in charge of the tiny and annoying inconveniences department. You Know Who is the CEO. Even my dumb ass knows this, and I’m the one crying over a few traffic cones.
Of many a few million people on this planet, my bark is as big as my bite, and I don’t let the Big Man forget it. He knows I don’t trust him. And even when I’m throwing a fit at my Asshole Dirty, the real thing and I both know who I’m really pissed at.
Everyone who swallows the God Kool-Aid seems willing to just stand by and let him take everything. Oh, He has your best interests at heart, they say. You may not like the voyage but you’ll love the destination. Trust in Him. He’ll never lead you wrong. He does not punish, he is not fickle or petty or masochistic. You’re confusing Asshole Deity’s intentions with God’s. Put your life in his hands, let him scoop you out of that boat. Keywords here: let him. Sure, and while I’m at it, I’ll climb into an 18-wheeler with shot brakes. Why not? Weee!
God doesn’t pay the bills, sweetheart. When your car breaks down or your loved one gets cancer, your little “thoughts and prayers” on Facebook doesn’t do a thing except make you look like you give a shit while offering the bare minimum. He has his Reasons, they say. Yeah, well, Jesus lived in a time without credit scores, electricity bills, and five dollars for a gallon of milk when the rent is due and there’s no gas in the car. His Reasons will land your ass directly in the street with a bucket for change if you choose to believe all of that happy crappy. Thoughts and prayers don’t soothe an empty belly—you can’t cash a check with them, and they damn sure don’t erase heartache. So yeah, I think Asshole Deity and God are pretty close. Like little shit-ass twins that dress alike and play the Who Am I game just to mindfuck you.
In my lucid moments, I remember that my little problems take up very little space when stacked up against rape, murder, war crimes, poverty, and homicide. There are children starving in Africa and sex slaves being traded like Pokemon cards. Why should my fits of pique over you matter? Why would God care? He’s got his hands full. As Bender from the Breakfast Club would say, Screws fall out all the time—the world is an imperfect place. As my aunt would say, Too bad, so sad, so sorry for your bad luck.
I know the only way out of this Moria of loathing is to forgive. I know that I can beat my fists against the idea and kick and cry and generally act like a child about it, but that’s the only way. I just can’t bring myself to do it. There is a fundamental disconnect between my desperate need for peace of mind and the instinct to protect myself. So I can’t do it; you’d better find another way or get the hell out of mine.
Bullshit, I can hear God snorting disdainfully, perched atop his fluffy white throne, where he doesn’t pay rent or need groceries or get his heart broken. There are people that are big-hearted enough to forgive assholes who murder their children, their husbands, their wives, their friends, their family members, and you can’t forgive me for getting you away from a situation where you weren’t happy anyway? You can’t forgive him for letting you go? You can’t forgive her for falling the same way you did? Bullshit, he says, but take your time. I’m not going anywhere, and neither is your anger, until you do it. Okay, I say, but don’t hold your breath. You might suffocate to death from all of that weight of the air in my lungs.
So while it appears as if you’ve won, gotten away with it all, tossed away our life together, and given her all everything I taught you to give, I want you to remember that no matter how happy you are, I want there to be at least one person in the world who thinks you’re full of shit. It may not keep you up at night; you probably don’t even care, but you deserve one person who doesn’t think the fucking sun shines out of your asshole.
Well, God isn’t going to do a damn thing, so it might as well be me. And before you judge me, before you sympathize with him because I sound like a bitter fucking lunatic and he’s probably smart to be rid of me—I didn’t start out this way.
And I’m not paying this bill anymore.