It wells up from inside you like a burning lava rock that you formed somehow between your stomach and your liver and fueled by your thoughts. How does anger do that? It springs up fully potent, amazingly fierce, ready to be unleashed from its birthplace to spread its heat onto other (possibly unsuspecting) human prey.
I had just left the grocery store after returning a movie when I felt it. It threw me off guard, because the feeling was so intense. Then unconscious thought suddenly became conscious; I was thinking about how this movie paralleled my social life, and how I was mad at a man for going back on his word.
Thought fueled my anger, and the heavy burning sensation in my stomach spread all over me. It felt like I was being infected by something so hot that my skin started to itch. I kept driving, where I wasn’t sure. But as I drove the flame burned out, and I was left with a dull ache in my gut.
Anger turned to misery–the lava rock near my stomach cooled, and I just felt a big rock sitting there, heavy and cumbersome. What could ease this depressing heavy feeling? I turned into the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme donut shop.
Who knew how crowded Krispy Kremes could get on a Saturday night? The parking lot was full, and cars streamed out of the drive thru line onto the side street. I felt the frustration of a driver from the side street, trying to get around the hungry (or just depressed) patrons hankering for a doughnut. He honked his horn for several minutes, but no one moved. It was an unusual scene; I couldn’t help but laugh. Krispy Kreme crowded on a Saturday night? Don’t you have real things to do, family in the van? Don’t you have a club to get to, ladies in tight pants?
And then I thought why did I let that guy make me feel that way? The heat of anger rarely consumes others like it does your own heart. I thought about the lone driver honking his horn to “scare” someone into moving out of his way. It’s almost never contagious, if the thing you’re angry about is only your concern. It’s just too hard and too pointless to sustain. Happiness is so much easier to feel than anger. Especially when you’re minutes from a few hot Krispy Kremes.