Exhausted, stumbling like a drunken individual, the balls of your feet crying out as though the calloused skin has been gouged from the cramping muscles, patience becomes a tenuously strung string, itching to snap with a twang. For some people, the sound of their patience snapping is like a charging bull, roaring in a mindless fury which seeps with violence and frustration. For others it’s an internal implosion which results in muscular tension, self harming and the cavernous depths of depression.
For me, when my rope of patience becomes a frayed bundle of twine, my voice drops two octaves, my face loses its easy smile, and any sense of fear drifts away like hay fever on a summer breeze. To find two grown, yet drunk men, standing in your kitchen at 2am in the morning, bearing in mind you live on the top floor of a building, drinking your milk and peering into your fridge expectantly looking for more, could spell trouble. When coupled with both an urgent need to pee and an urgent desire to sleep, underlined by an early morning craving for bread and cheese, the situation becomes precarious.
Knocking the fridge shut, all sense of fear or rationality dispersed into the air like the anonymous farts that perfume night clubs; an ephemeral hint or wisp that has no substance. “What are you doing here?’ It was the best example of a rhetorical question. I didn’t want an answer, I wanted to install them with fear and doubt.
That was when i noticed the empty milk cartons. No. Stealing food is unacceptable, not even unacceptable, just rude! Like stupefied trolls, their eyes lacklustre, their figures drooping they stared at me unable to formulate a cohesive response.
“You’re drinking our milk.” Frail protestations that the half carton that had been in the process of being consumed was actually theirs, barely grazed my ears. I did a swift scan of the fridge, saw our milk shelf despondently barren and shut it again.
‘Get out.” The cartoon was nipped from the inebriated fingers and placed on the counter (next to a knife might I add, that could’ve been used as a drunken weapon, but thank the Lord they were too incompetent and drunkenly benevolent to notice).
The command to Vacate had to undergo several translations, but the tone stayed the same. In fact it got bolder as I eyeballed each of them down individually. They knew not to mess with a tired-angry-piss-needing young black woman at 2 am in the morning, especially not when she was going for a midnight munch.
I may not have flipped, ripped,, spun wildly into a tempestuous fury, but controlled anger and frustration can have just as, if not an even more powerful effect. Calm and collected, you strip people of all sense of self or wit, until they become like the incapable children they are, and waddle out of your kitchen with their tails between their legs.
Patience is a virtue. Impatience is an effect that can be artfully displayed.