Partha PD

THE ANGRY ANGER

Anger was too ambitious to stay between my fighting parents. It spilled on me, wearing me as its skin and making me a foreigner in my own body. Didn't seek my permission. Neither did he before entering me. I remember my tiny body bent in the shape of a comma. Inside me, I felt a sealed vacuum seething with hatred. Disgust.

I was an angry child. Angry for not knowing the source of my anger. Angry for knowing how helpless my anger made me feel. Ashamed of knowing and not knowing.

That anger grew with me. Crawled my skin at the slightest provocation. Kept the foreigner within me alive. That monster I turned into. To numb my pain. Who broke glasses, who exhaled venom. When buried memories of sexual abuse crawled out from a room without windows and doors. I became the grunting, wild animal inside me. Overpowered by a feeling stronger than love and fear.

The shards of glass on the floor, the venom in my words. When my close friends offered me help, I denied having any issues. How could I, I, I have problems? I projected my insecurities on them by calling them insecure. So that I could mask my grief. The one saving grace I had. My amazing, mind-blowing brain. I shut every mouth with my supercool grades. In school. In college. I wore my anger on my sleeve. As a badge of honor. Hiding my wound.

Grades made me a banker. I made money selling money. Money found my honey. Money and honey. Lots of money. Hot honey.

LOL. Seriously. Not funny. Honey left me. Soon. For a sane, sorted man.

Cigarettes, I breathed for living. Rum and gin, I drank for tolerating myself. With chilly chicken. And lasagna.

Porn videos, I paid for. The exotic ones. Destroyed my sense of intimacy. I had to masturbate to sleep. Every fucking night. The calls from my new honey ignored. My kindergarten crush. She knew how damaged I was. Still, she loved me. Once, I almost choked her in a seedy hotel. Hotel with semen-stained bedsheets and oil-scented pillows. I tried on her my darkest desires. That night, I was angry at her. For not satisfying my fantasies. My ugly, twisted fantasies. What a Valentine's Day!

She forgave me. She continued loving me.

How could you love me, Mademoiselle?

I hated the mirror. I hated my shadow. I hated being loved. How badly did I hate my own skin. How desperately I wanted to peel off my entire skin to shed my anger. To get rid of my past.

Every futile attempt I made to appear comfortable in my own skin emptied my self-respect a little more.

Until I had none left. Nothing to lose.

I had to. Kill or heal myself.

I thought of my parents. My old man had decided a name for his grandchild. Tweetie if a girl, Orkut if a boy. Mom's solo trip to Paris remained due. Honey's charcoal sketch of us having double-cheese pizza. Honey in her polka-dot frock—loose hairs, happy, smiling—in my mind.

I decided to heal. To deal with the unresolved anger. To be a human. To be happy?

A day before my 27th birthday, I took my parents and my honey out for a dinner. The father in a grey suit, the mother in a cotton silk saree. The honey in a lavender top and a pair of blue jeans.

I ordered my father's favorite Chivas whisky, my mother's Noir red wine. My honey's favorite lemonade. Lemonade for me, too. We drank. Dad's handlebar mustache also drank drops of whiskey. Mom couldn't stop making fun of Dad, her "Bobby." Dad blushed. That secret love.

We laughed.

From drinks to desserts, we made fun of Dad's wet mustache and his choice of names. Why leave Facebook and LinkedIn? There was a moment when everyone was quietly savoring the bliss of togetherness.

"Stop fighting over who sacrificed more in life. I am tired of your fights." I told them I would like to be a good father. There was a spark of joy, a glimpse of pride in everyone's eyes.

"I want to gift my children an emotionally stable family. Not angry, fighting grandparents."

I paused for few seconds.

"I don't want my children to be raped." I abruptly jumped into these words.

"Raped?"

"Raped!"

"Yes, raped."

Honey didn't speak.

I told them about their "inspiration," our successful neighbor. The creative genius. How they had trusted him to take care of me when they had attended my grandmother's funeral. How he had taken "care" of me. Again and again.

I told them about my waking up in the middle of the night for years after that evening. Sweaty. Afraid.

We left the restaurant. We went to his house. Mom slapped him. Dad kicked him. In front of his three children, his wife, his old parents.

Honey didn't say a word. She was there. With me. Holding my hands. Tightly.

That night we sat together for hours. Cried. Talked. Breathed. That was our first family night in my 27 years of existence on this planet. In my 27 years of living in the same house. With my celebrity parents.

I felt lighter. No longer full of emptiness. Years of toxicity disappeared slowly.

I felt okay for the first time. Not angry at myself.

MeToo.