Step Aside, Loudmouth

Over The Rainbow

Prying open the jaws of the wolf

There are days when all I want to do is rant and rave.

Like the other day when a Nuevo Jesus freak is in front of me at Arsaga’s discussing the pathway to heaven with a fundamentalist brunette barista.

“Give me a freaking break!” I shout, as my cup of Columbian Supremo accidentally spills over his broad shoulders. “Good God, some of us are just here for the coffee!”

OK, so it didn’t happen that way, not even on my best ranting and raving days. But in an alternate reality where cartoon bubbles hover above all our heads, in the great comic book of my life, it did and I’m proud of it.

From time to time, I have a recurring dream of being attacked by a wolf. The wolf is extremely powerful and in my face, his mouth wide open and his teeth bared! Anyone watching the attack in the dream world would not give me a chance, but here’s what happens every time I am attacked. I shove my hands into its wet mouth and grab its jaws. I try to hold them open as long as I can before they snap shut on me. Then I realize if I don’t kill the wild animal, it will kill me. So with extreme strength and no other choice, I slowly pry its jaws apart until they break, and then with great relief I toss the wolf off me. It’s always a gruesome and frightening dream but also a dream of exhilaration.

Years ago my dream took on another energy form: reality. I was in San Antonio with a girl who, one evening in a fit of rage, shoved her large hands around my throat and started strangling me. I put my hands up in defense, grabbing her arms trying to push her off me, but she was much stronger. As she shook my head, I looked up into her eyes and somehow choked out the words, “You can never hurt me, so do what you need to do. I am much stronger inside than you are.”

For me, I believe the desire to rant and rave comes from being held back, held down, told to be quiet and shoved far back into the closet for far too long. It makes me fantasize about pouring hot coffee onto a jerk who feels he has a special privilege to hold up the line ’cause Jesus is his buddy. It makes me dream of wild wolves.

It also reminds me that there is a reserve of strength within each of us, no matter what is happening on the outside. Whether it’s just an annoyance or a real threat from a bully or abuser, we may not always be able to rip the jaws of the beast apart or stop the violence, but we can stand up with dignity and respect, knowing that what is inside of us is stronger than what threatens us.
And in an alternate reality, all I can say is this: The beasts and the bullies of the world don’t even want to go there, better not go there, because POOF! POW! SMACK! POP! heads are going to roll and coffee is going to get spilled in a lot more vulnerable places than just over your broad shoulders, buddy.

“So step aside now and nobody gets hurt.”



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