Aggressive Tendencies And What To Do With Them

by Nic Olson

Riding my bicycle. The very thought of my mother’s ten year old Rialto Torago that I took from their garage and ride regularly makes me want to put an axe in the hood of every single mid-nineties family mini-van in Regina. It’s not the bicycle—though it only has three gears, shoddy breaks, a back wheel mechanism that slips, and ten-dollar used winter tires that have studs for nothing else but good conscience and show. It’s not the winter—riding a bicycle in -40 weather is warmer than the thigh-chafing that comes with walking, or sitting on your lazy ass and driving. What brings about the rage is being surrounded by morons and assholes who are too goddamn impatient to drive less than fifty kilometres per hour for five blocks, too uneducated to know that their fossil fuel addiction will be the death of their children, and too goddamn ignorant to know the legal way to ride a bicycle in the city. I’ve been honked at or called a ‘piece of shit’ this winter on an almost daily basis. My skin is only as thick as the tread on my used, ten-dollar, likely pilfered bicycle tires.

Sitting in the basement. Sitting alone in the basement is either the greatest moment of my day or the worst part of my week. It is either the absolute peace of smothered sounds through a pair of earplugs, blocking out the painfully moronic television show blaring above me as I read stories by men able to harness their aggression into a productive means of communication. Or it is the loneliest place in the entire world. Lately it has been both, but when I finally achieve a thoughtful focus, it is interrupted by none other than the local armed forces. Checking up on me two months after my curfew has been amended, three hours before my curfew was actually supposed to be imposed. Three times. Thoughtful focus taken. Hateful rage instilled. Fair trade.

When two things that you usually take pleasure in become two things that make you want to get drunk and belligerent and aggressive, then the rest of your daily activities will be difficult to enjoy. When the same two things that are usually a receptacle for aggression become the cause of it, there is a surplus. I have not yet taken to drink. I have instead taken to listening to more aggressive music, cursing at full volume, partaking in more asinine activities such as television and human interaction. But liquor works better.

I no longer have an adequate way to release my aggression, if I ever did. Sports only worsen it. Live music in this town is as rare as a three-teated horse. Crokinole makes me swear more than most things. New writing is overshadowed by hellish edits and cover letters that need to be finished in a certain amount of time to follow a set of unattainable goals which were set to convince myself that I’m not wasting my life.

I constantly think about what Darren told me. About being a kettle. And I just hope that I have the strength to control it when it finally does want come to surface in a series of accusing, friendship-ruining, damaging outbreaks. If I am unable, this is my apology.

And no, writing this didn’t seem to help.