Letters of Life


Part six in the Colour series. Firecracker, fire engine
Fire-flicker red
And when you’re angry
Red runs through your head. — From Mary O’Neill’s What is Red? 

With me, it only takes a straw, usually the last one, that breaks the camel’s back (mine) and then I see red and go ballistic.  It’s never the big issues, but always the small ones that have the ability to take on gigantic proportions, like one of those soap-sized magic towels you run under the tap and then you’ve got a soaked face towel suddenly heavy in your hands.

It was a case of someone not being able to perform a responsibility at the eleventh hour. I accept the circumstances, for people don’t plan for bad things to happen, but it was the way it was communicated that got to me.

What added fuel to the fire was when no alternative is suggested, and I found myself scrambling mentally. A whole bunch of other emotions came along, like uninvited guests.

It’s true that it is not that big a deal. But when one is holding the fort and multi-tasking, keeping the big picture in mind while tending to the details, it becomes that proverbial final straw.

I had to curb feelings of being let down, of being left high and dry, of being abandoned. And so I overeacted, which means to say, I started to scold. Scold the innocents. I barked, I bit, I glared. Didn’t matter what people thought.

And what did the innocents do? They ignored the flying sparks and did what they could to maybe make up for the thing that so disappointed me.

That’s when the red went away.

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