Belligerence: Anger Misidrected It was not a good day at school. It seemed like every single person I encountered was bent on playing with my already frayed nerves. Usually the life of the lunch table and always quick with a joke or two, I was nearly fuming at every utterance of joy that eeked from my overexuberant friends. I was now a boxer that had been hit around, and I was chomping at the bit to unleash hell on my oponent. Many cautious jokes were made to me throughout the day. Each one satirizing my overly bitter auora, all of which were met with a fierce glare, the perfectly placed jab. The ride home proved no better in remedying my beastial attitude. The usually happy busrides filled with light conversation proved to be a melting pot of disdain. The day was hell, and I prayed it would leave me when I walked through my front door. However, I knew that was beyond hope. The arena had been set at the break of dawn. The whole debacle due to a little sparring between my mother and me. The day began like any other, the alarm blaring like a ringside bell, signaling the bombastic events to follow. My mother, ever caring about my early arrival at school, shouted in with the all too familiar “Wake up time!” Today though, I felt worn down, looking for some extra sleep. So I shouted back with some form of slurred speech that must have sounded like an obscenity. My mother, taking clear offense, knocked down the door, gloves on, and hurling even more obscenitites my way. Now, I know the smart thing would have been to simply explain what I had actually said. However, she had disturbed my ten extra minutes, and I was not ready to back down. The following sixty seconds was non-stop carnage. Blow after blow ensued, neither fighter giving the other time to recuperate. I left my house for the morning bus with pure anger, like the bitter taste of blood in my mouth. Sadly, I would hurt someone even more. After making it through the school day without throwing a knockout punch, I was hopeful that I would have a safe outlet for my rampage: an overload of homework would give me something to beat up on. The textbook outlining and essay writing, courtesy of a few AP teachers, had become the routine outlet for my frustration. However, after my day these already time consuming tasks were now trivial and gave me no relief from my fighter’s rage. Then the door opened and bouncy footsteps proceeded this notice. I remembered the time, 3:17; my little brother was home and noise was bound to follow. I sat there patiently praying in the corner of my ring, hoping that he would give me some time to dress my wounds. I prayed he wouldn’t step into the ring with me. I prayed he wouldn’t be the reciptient of the cocked fist I had been ready to throw all day. However, as sure as the sun is bright, he walked right into the office, and proceeded to unleash a stream-of- concious thought that my frazzled mind could not bear to hear. “Quiet, quiet, quiet, please,” I kept thinking in my head. He persisted in his joyful rant, telling me all there was to know about his day. Unable to withstand his words, desperate for the silence I had craved since that morning, I hurled my frustration at him. “Nobody cares about your day! Will you please shut up!” The upper cut was fierce and precise. I obviously hadn’t meant what I said, and I tried to explain that I was just having the worst day. However, the strike had clearly landed, a haymaker of icey disregard. His head was down, unresponsive, dejected; the gleam in his eye gone, the light of joy in talking to his older brother dimmed and blacked out. Through my haze of red, I knocked out my little brother, my buddy, my best friend, someone who was always in my corner and who innocently expected that I’d be in his. (sentence revised) He wasn’t my opponent. I was.