Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A devious tendency

Photo by I am marlon (CC)
I'm not a born troublemaker, one of those aggressive types whose body get tensed and whose mind shuts down at the smallest provocation. One of the gifts I've always believed I can count on is to be able to dodge imminent problems with a shrug and an ironic remark muttered with closed lips. I need to admit that sometimes in the cold light of the day I've wondered whether this kind of behavior can be a signal of cowardice. And it didn't help me to clear out doubts being aware that in other circumstances, when facing danger or difficult decisions, I've acted with courage. Or at least with recklessness, which, if it's not courage, can be a good surrogate of it.
A recent conversation with a friend, though, has reminded me of a period of my life when latent tensions, cumulated stress and a slight impatience poured out beyond the level of consciousness, under the shape of losses of temper rarely experienced before. It is well known then that a beer too many on a Saturday night can amplify moods that are already smoldering on the bottom of our soul, pushing up to the surface what we normally manage to hold in - at least partially. And that's how liveliness, sense of humor, fun and friendliness, in that period were replaced by a dark side of myself that I had always ignored. By the way intoxication was only an aggravating circumstance, not the cause of this devious tendency. It could have happened in broad daylight, on a weekday, when I was completely sober. 
I seemed to have lost - at least in part - my capacity to not give a damn in case someone happened to treat me like an ornament, bumping into me and just shoving me apart with an arrogant air. Or if a bully was provoking me with a sharp remark, or yet again if a guy was addressing me in a rude way me without a good reason.
Fortunately that time is gone and has never come back. At the end it was just an anomalous year. I returned to being my old self; actually, owing to a new discovery, I've acquired a different attitude towards my own personality: those suspicions about cowardice that I used to have when my pride failed to be inflamed by a gratuitous attack are nothing in comparison with the certainty that I behaved like an idiot when I actually reacted to provocations.
It's not important, it's not even that much but, if one can content himself with it, it's still a good step ahead.

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