I have met anger. On a cold February day, three years ago. It was the first day of the three-months’ military training I was conscripted to.
The announcement for my second-round military training carelessly spewed a semen of anger that soon gave a life to something inside me. And, on that cold day in February, it manifested itself. Anger fathered anger.
I have not yet forgotten how anger looks like. I don’t think I will ever forget; after all I have conceived and birthed it.
“Stay in line.”
“Left! Right! Left!
The sergeant was barking orders.
But I was in labor.
I tried to follow the orders but it seemed as if my ears were listening but somehow forgot to send the message to my mind. My whole body was engulfed with pain, emotional pain that was manifested in physical constrains – making me unable to follow orders. I know I am not supposed to cry, in a military rule, but tears rolled down my cheek as if racing to get to the finish line of the ground.
Upon reaching the age of eighteen, everyone in my country is conscripted to the army that entails a more-than-six-months military training in the military camps. The camps were harsh. It was an experience that makes you contemplate death on a regular basis, with the same tone and indifference you would choose over a menu of dessert after lunch. Doing it once was a walk through hell. Going through it twice, it becomes personal. Then, it’s the hell that walks through you. Burning you, reducing you into an ash.
I looked at the sky and pronounced God dead.
Surely if he is alive he won’t make me go through this. Twice. Especially when I have pleaded and prayed not to experience this hell again. My faith boat was violently rocked that day. I hated my creation and doubted the creator.
My limbs were hurting from all the jogging and trainings. My mind was blank. I was barely aware of the things happening around me. But I was consciously aware of one thing- the burning fire inside me.
I don’t recall how I changed into my clothes from the training pants. I don’t remember how I managed to walk the short distance from the training field to the highway. All I remember is flagging down a cab and carefully slipping my numbing body inside.
“Lion Hotel.” I whispered my destination to the cabbie. I turned my face and welcomed the torrent of tears that have been barely held back.
This is what I don’t understand about that day, how I managed to change my clothes. How I was able to walk or flag a cab? To this day, I wrestle with myself in trying to figure out what has actually happened that day. Did I possibly use my anger as endorphin to numb my mind from remembering or staying conscious? Or was I too proud to break down in the face of strangers that I managed to stay composed? If my reason is the latter one, then I am a hypocrite and this narrative is biased.
The staircase to the hotel bar was another set of challenges to question my psychological stamina but I climbed it slowly and made it to the top.
There I saw my friends joking around each other, the way we always do. As I approached their table, I saw the concern on their faces and some of them were able to crack some jokes as some commented on my looks- hitting me hard when I was already down.
Anger came to the earth unannounced and waited no longer for the midwives.
I opened my mouth to say something, anything…but I couldn’t utter a word. I opened my mouth but all that came out was incoherent sound. I tried again, again and again… but no word came out. And all I wanted to say was “I want to die.”
The shock that I might have lost my vocal abilities sent me straight to paralysis of fear and I collapsed.
“Did I lose my voice forever? Am I going to be able to speak again?” were questions that raced in my mind. My faith was restored as quickly as it was discarded upon beholding the vast blue-sky right before I closed my eyes and pleaded mercy from the lord above.