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Father of Disorder

Getty / Photo illustration by Katie Kosma

Jessica Wilbanks | Ruminate Magazine | Summer 2012 | 29 minutes (5,761 words)



My anger, when it comes, grows from my chest outward. It’s as if my heart turns into a cauldron, simmering my blood until it rages its way through my veins, blushing my neck, quivering my hands, and pulsing itself into my formerly peaceful thoughts.

This used to happen to me quite often when I was cooking dinner for a man I loved. I’d be washing carrots idly, chopping garlic, and then that heat would start pumping. I’d clench my lips closed and concentrate on the chopping, until this man—a very good man whose own blood ran lukewarm—would ask me for a spatula or something, and then all holds were off.

I can still see this man’s face, surprised at first, like a toddler walking blithely through the park, thinking he’s holding his father’s hand before looking up to see a stranger. Of course this man took my anger into himself, thinking maybe his desire for a spatula was wrong, that he was wrong, him instead of me, simply because I was fiercer and more furious. But this man was not a dormouse, so then his own blood finally charged him up with adrenaline and fury, and we would fight over the food we were cooking.

It seemed to me when one prepares a meal in a swirl of rage, some of that rage must disperse into the food, so that when we ate hours later, after our blood was running at a more reasonable temperature, our previous heat dissipated into the meal. This is very likely a misinterpretation of the law of entropy, which states that energy tends to flow from being highly concentrated into places where it has the freedom to move.

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