When I was seven, I pushed my brother into a river.
This probably would not have been so bad if the water hadn't been polluted to a dark murky brown and was infested with bacteria that craved living cells. Even considering that, it probably wouldn't have been so bad if he could swim, but his little three year old arms, for all their thrashing, could not keep him afloat.
I fished him back out, if that's what you're thinking.
He was sobbing like an elephant with a cold. That made me grin. An elephant with a cold. The bacteria hadn't gotten him too badly. A few red spots here and there. He was overreacting.
"You got it?" I demanded.
He moved his head up and down as quickly as he could, still bawling the way only an unpleased three-year-old can.
"Good. Let's go," and we started back for home.
He never told Mummy.
Seven years later, my Mummy and Daddy enrolled me in Anger Management classes.
What a waste of time.
I wasn't angry. I'm still not angry. I am mildly content, actually. I live in a state of mild contentedness. I feel disappointment, I can feel pleased, sometimes I can go so far as to feel anxious. But I don't get mad. There's some sort of emotional energy lacking there. Maybe it's because it does no good, and I've always known that. It clouds your judgement. Maybe I've never had reason to be truly angry. Maybe it doesn't matter. But I am quite pleased with my life, the way it rolls on. I am more often than not smiling at something, be it the atmosphere or the conversation.
But I understood it. My parents wanted to know 'Why'?. More importantly, they wanted to know 'Can you fix my daughter?' Fix. They actually said that word, you know. Like I'm a broken toy or a ripped seam. Please, just hot-glue me back together and we'll be on our merry little way again. It makes me laugh.
But they wanted to know why. Why did she steal her mother's engagement ring? Why did she program the computer to show only porn? Why did she stab a classmate in the hand with a pencil? Why did she slash her mother with a knife? Why did she throw a hammer at her Dad's head? Why did she leave a dead cat on her parents' bed as they slept and covered it with honey, so when they woke the next morning they were greeted with the rotting carcass, covered in flies?
Why did I?
I don't know. Why does anyone do anything? Why do people venture outside into the daylight? Why do people go clubbing or go to an art museum? Or an amusement park? Or why do they do their taxes? Why do people do math problems or crossword problems? To relieve boredom? Are they looking for answers?
I don't know.
But I do know that my mother was a fool. An incompetent dead-weight with a very small brain. When her head was bashed open and I was seventeen, and all of the parts flew out...the eyeballs, the teeth, the brain (which was the most interesting, sliding out like a child down a water slide) barely filled the measuring cup she used to make holiday cookies. Which was an 18oz. cup, by the way.
Why was this so?
Because she thought I was a strange, possessed, 'different' child. Different. Ha. No, no, see, any one of you could be me. I'm perfectly normal. I have emotions, I have thoughts, I'm as human as they come. Sure, I'm not as strict about my morals. I think walking around at night in a tank top is acceptable, people aren't going to jump out and rape you for not wearing sleeves. Mom thought different. But the point is, I could be any one of you. Only I'm not afraid.
You're afraid of me, the group of you. And because you're afraid, you want to make sure none it's impossible to become like I am. So you give me a faux mental problem like 'psychopath' or 'sociopath' or 'pathological liar' or just 'criminally insane'. That way you can make sure your children don't grow up as 'murderers', for whatever the word is worth.
You choose to deny it, but I'm just like you.
I just got mad at my brother.