Patrick closed the notebook and handed it back over to his friend.
"So? What did you think?"
The enthusiasm in the question gave him pause, as he calculated his response. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt someone's feelings, but he was never prone to tiptoeing through the tulips either. There was also the fact that while the piece was fairly decent, it hit a little close to home. Stirred a dose of uneasiness in him.
"Well," Patrick began, "it's a little preachy there towards the end, don't you think?" His friend stared at him from across the table, eyes unblinking. Crap... "I mean..."
He was cut off. His friend deepened his voice and delivered the mockery in cartoony fashion, cocking his head side to side. "It's a little preachy there towards the end, dontcha think?" When finished he returned his blank stare, face expressionless. "Prick." Both of them burst into laughter. "I guess I can see what you mean, but it's really meant to be more encouraging. Inspirational."
"Embracing your rage, Samson? Really?" Patrick cocked a brow for good measure.
"Don't forget to master it, son!" Samson grabbed his soda and took a quick swig. He began tapping his notebook, replying, "Look, I think it's an emotion everyone feels, everyone struggles with, because it can literally twist you up inside. Make you do things you could never imagine yourself doing. But I don't believe it's something that is uncontrollable. If managing to stay focused, unclouded, it becomes something more... malleable."
"And...?" Patrick fished, and he knew Samson was aware of it.
"And harnessed as..."
"As a weapon," he finished for him. Shaking his head, he asked Samson in a flat tone, "And you think that's safe? It's already used as a weapon and it causes nothing but suffering."
"By those not in control or by those who are, but whose intent is to derive that effect." His friend shrugged. "You know where I'm going with this." He did. "I know you get depressed and angry at your situation. At...," Samson gestured, "...needing to rely on others." Here we go. "People can see it, I can see it, you... Well, you live it."
"I really don't want to discuss this."
"Of course you don't, who would? All I'm getting at is that you know, first hand, just how easy it is for these emotions to slowly build, eventually coming to a boil. But instead of exploding, you manage it."
"I've known you a long time, Patty." Patrick flinched. "Ah ah ah, don't get your panties in a bunch. You and all that uncontrolled anger and shit." Samson gave a playful wink. "In all this time, I've never seen you lash out. You get in your moods, sure, but that's normal. People get sad, they get nostalgic, they get upset. It's called being Human." He shifted in his chair, unable to look his friend directly in the eyes as he spoke. "I assume you do whatever you do. Stew it over, accept it as it is, and let it pass. A healthy process. I'm just suggesting that if people embrace those emotions, that energy, they have the very real ability to channel it into something positive."
Patrick pulled back on his controller's joystick and began backing up from his place at the table, which was adjusted in height to compensate for the powered wheelchair. "You're right, you have known me a long time." He sighed and fought against his urges to follow through with what he planned to say. "And, again, you're right. I do know anger. And I'm not proud to say that there have been many," Patrick paused a moment, "many times that I almost lost control. Barely hanging on by a thread."
He motioned for Samson to follow, nodding towards his room. "What you said, about people having an obligation, do you really believe that?"
"I know it's just a blogging piece, but yeah, I think people should always try to do the right thing. As for their passions and emotions, I think that if they could focus all that energy, they could apply it in ways that could genuinely help make the world a better place." he heard Samson getting up and moving around the table, following. "Why? What's up?"
Patrick's room was sparsely decorated, much like the rest of his apartment. A few movie posters adorned one wall, situated above a rack holding some of his favorite DVDs and Blu-rays, mostly action and comedies. A small, shelved nightstand next to his unmade bed. On the far side of the room a heavy blanket, entwined with the curtain rod, was draped over the window, blocking any chance that sunlight would ever disturb his sleep. Once reaching the middle of the room, Patrick swung around so that he was facing Samson, who was just entering.
Going against the anxiety-bound warnings his mind was throttling him with, Patrick said, "There are some things that you don't know about me, but I want you to." His friend had a puzzled look on his face. "I do have an inner rage, and as I said before, it's almost consumed me many times. But I've been... practicing."
"Practicing? Meaning what exactly?"
He threw up a hand in his direction. "Just as you've suggested. Attempting to harness it. But you don't seem to understand that, for some, the anger is much more than a simple feeling." Before Samson could defend himself, Patrick continued, "For some of us, it's almost as though it's alive. Not something that comes and goes, a feeling washing over and then released. But rather a part of us, a constant."
"I'm not sure I..."
"Could you shut the door please?" The odd request seemed to catch his friend off guard. "And turn off the light while you're at it."
"Sure, but I have to admit, this is a little strange." Samson chuckled forcibly. "You know I love you and I'm into you, but, you know... I'm not into you."
Laughing, Patrick said, "Shut up." The door clicked shut and the room fell into darkness. "There are some things you aren't going to understand." He rested his hands on the wheelchair's armrests, palms open, facing the ceiling. "Things that may scare you. Undoubtedly raise questions." Patrick simultaneously clenched both fists together and there was a brief, white flicker. "But I trust you not to tell anyone what I'm about to show you. Explain to you." Opening hands and squeezing again. A brighter, longer flicker.
Samson's expression wasn't a surprise, but rather expected. In the brief flickers of light, Patrick could see his companion's eye growing wider. Whether from amazement, fear, or both, he couldn't tell. "You see, the rage in me is real. It is a constant and it's always hungry. And even when attempting to control it, things sometimes go sideways." Taking a deep breath he opened and clenched his fists for a third time. This time there wasn't a flicker, but a brilliant pulsating light emanating from them, now aglow, illuminating the room.
Samson shielded his eyes, but Patrick had no need. His eyes adjusted and absorbed the light as if it was natural. He supposed for him it was natural.
"How are you doing that? I..."
"There's more, if you feel you can handle it." He registered his friends silent answer. "Good. Let me show you just how powerful anger can be."
Thanks for reading! What did you think of the piece? Constructive criticism welcomed!