“What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?”

I’m still persevering in my reading of Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story.  There were a couple of times in my reading last night when I thought that the book was putting a mystery on the table, and I hoped that would make me want to read on to see how the mystery would be solved.  But, unfortunately, that’s not what happened.  When a mysterious guy referring to himself as “Zack McCool” calls Lisey, and we’re wondering who he is, he turns out to be a bully of sorts, hired by a professor who wants the manuscripts of Lisey’s late husband, the author Scott Landon.  (UPDATE: see here.)  When Lisey finds what appears to be a thousand page work by her husband, she is curious about why her husband wrote that and did not tell her about it.  It turns out that it’s only one page, and the other pages are blank.  I suppose that there could be a profound mystery there, but the opposite could easily be true: Many authors start projects that they do not finish.

So I’m still waiting for something in this book that will hook me, for I like to finish what I start.  I’ll still continue to blog about things that stand out to me in the book, though.  And what stood out to me in last night’s reading was something that Lisey’s sister Amanda did: she cut herself because she was upset that a long-time boyfriend was with somebody else.  In her mind, her cutting herself was a way for her to attack her boyfriend.  At times, Amanda was quiet about why she was so upset.  But, when Amanda got to expressing her feelings to Lisey, she unleashed “a mixture of adult obscenity and childish poopie-talk that filled Lisey with amazement, amusement, and admiration.”  (And why Lisey admired that, I have no idea, but I don’t understand many of Lisey’s feelings in this book, to tell you the truth.)  Lisey responds to Amanda, “It’s just…saying you were mad at him will be enough.”

I identified with this part of the book because I’m not always sure how to deal with anger and resentment.  I mean, how many times can I call somebody a “douche-bag” in my mind?  It doesn’t change anything.  The douche-bags are still going about their business, and most likely they wouldn’t even care what I thought about them if they knew about my feelings.  I could just say that I’m “mad” at them, but that doesn’t seem adequate—-and so I have felt like using the F-word, or other words that I’ve been taught were forbidden.  For some reason, I view those as channels for my anger.  Maybe I hope that they will provide me with release.  But they don’t really.  There are many times when I only feel angrier after using those words.

What exactly should one do with anger—-at the world not being as one thinks it should be, when you feel like attacking something, but you know that you cannot do so?  As Mr. Rogers used to sing, “What do you do with the mad that you feel?”  To be honest, there are days when I’m glad to be in the state that Mr. Heck was in last week’s episode of The Middle: not to care what others think about me because I feel so dead inside.  A flat mood is what I want!  I don’t like happy moods because they can be easily disrupted.  I don’t like upset moods because they stress me out.  Give me a flat mood!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Mr. Rogers, Stephen King, Television. Bookmark the permalink.