“When we first starting working together,” my therapist said, “you were the angriest person I’d ever met.”
Somehow, it pleased me to hear that.
“You’ve made amazing progress over the past decade and a half,” she said, “but today, I sense an old, familiar rage.”
I sipped my agave-nectar-laced tea and waited for her to ask a question.
She reached into a desk drawer and pulled out a single piece of thick, white paper stained with an ink blot.
“What do you see?” she asked.
“I see Chris Christie stuffed into a gestation crate,” I told her.
“Do you see anything else?”
“I see pus oozing out from the massive folds of skin that the outsize bastard can’t see or reach,” I said, not needing to look again at the ink blot. “I see flies and other insects gorging themselves on his rancid flesh. And I see him slamming his ugly face into the metal bars as fear and depression grip his mind.”
I was being honest. It is, after all, the best way to make progress in these situations.
“That’s quite a vivid image you’ve described,” my therapist pointed out.
“I suppose it’s something of a waking dream,” I told her.
“Why are you so angry at Chris Christie?”
“Because he’s a fucking asshole,” I said.
I explained that Christie had for the second time in as many years vetoed a bill that would’ve banned the use of gestation crates in New Jersey. And I told her that in his insulting veto message, the arrogant prick suggested that “humane standards have put New Jersey at the vanguard of protecting domestic livestock from animal cruelty.”
“He’s just another monster who has no problem telling animals they’re allowed to range freely until it’s time for their execution,” I said, “just another heartless piece of shit who’d promise to cut an animal’s throat with a clean knife.”
After railing against Christie’s callous claim that Senate Bill No. 998 “is a solution in search of a problem,” I pulled out my smart phone and read aloud the following passage from his predictable veto message: “I have every confidence that the State Board (of Agriculture) and the Department (of Agriculture) will continue to closely monitor and study modern and appropriate techniques for the humane raising, keeping, care, and treatment of all domestic livestock, and will propose amended regulations if, and when, modern science and evidence demonstrates a need for modified agricultural practices.”
“I’m so sick and tired of the bullshit that distracts the majority of our society from the absolute evil being perpetrated without pause,” I said, infuriated anew that the word “humane” is good enough to make an unabated holocaust look, to those who are steadfastly committed to avoidance, like a goddamn Norman Rockwell painting.”
“Why do you think your anger is directed right now at Chris Christie?” my therapist asked.
“Because his callous attitude, which is shared by so many, begets unimaginable suffering,” I said.
“You need to work on finding a healthy way to process situations like this so they don’t trigger that rage.”
“I’m glad I feel the rage,” I admitted. “I wish more people did.”
“The darkness isn’t a good place for you, David,” she said.
“It’s not good for the animals who’re being bred into slavery and brought into this terrible world to be terrorized, tortured, raped, and brutally slaughtered,” I snapped.
“We’ve worked really hard to find productive and satisfying ways for you to live out each day,” she said, calmly asking, “Can you think of a way you can keep this from haunting you? Could you write a song about Christie’s veto?”
“I’d like to lock the loathsome blowhard in a gestation crate and let him rot there — like the scene depicted in the Rorschach test,” I said, matter-of-factly.
“Obviously, that’s not very realistic …” she began.
“Sure it is,” I said. “I’ll lure the pandering slob into the cage by telling him there are Iowa caucus voters in there, and a refrigerator.”
“You know that I’ll have to tell the authorities if I believe someone’s life is in danger,” my therapist warned.
“Millions of lives are in danger, and millions more are being stolen,” I pointed out.
“Do I have reason to be concerned?”
“No,” I said, somewhat sadly. “I don’t want to be locked in a cage.”