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MAY 2004

> ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASS | katrina butcher

Big aluminum coffee pot circa 1978 and a circle of 10 beige folding chairs

Each one has a stapled packet of papers in its seat as we start slumping in.

Black and white copies, some of the copies made at angles on the page.

I flipped thru mine and started rolling the edge of the top sheet back and forth

Until it had this hard little permanent roll. The coffee is bitter and they only had

Pink packets - no cream. Pink packets cause cancer don't they? Or worse.

We're all so angry because we have brain tumors.

The counselor is 6' 7" tall with a buzz cut. He has tendons standing out on his neck like

A huge pink gecko. He has big hands and gesticulates a lot.

He looks like he understands anger. Showing lots of teeth, he says that we need to breathe. Fill your whole lungs, fill them all the way up

Close your eyes and slowly exhale. Breathe in, breath out real slow.

This is the key to not strangling someone. Again.

There's a guy on my left who is wearing a big black leather barn coat

With big leather buttons the size of silver dollars. He could have a machine

Gun under that thing. But the nervous little ferret woman with the thin short

red hair and sweaty hands is the one that will probably put poison in the coffee

And kill us all. Not that I'm paranoid or anything. Breathe in, breath out real slow.

The white Styrofoam cups hold only 1 actual cup of coffee

Usually, I have my Big snoopy mug so I get 5 refills.

Next time, I won't forget. Now he wants us to picture

Green fields. It's supposed to calm us but it only ticks me off.

Lawn mowers, weeding, fertilizers, pesticides. What exactly

Is Seven-dust doing to the environment in its white powdery splats

Around the tomato plants? This is the reason rural water tables

Are being destroyed. What is with this country anyway?

My problem isn't breathing or staying calm. My problem is

I care about things. Apathy is so popular. Being angry about things

Means you're unstable. I think they should have donuts here, too.

If I have to come in here every week, I should get raspberry filled donuts.

Bavarian creme would be nice, too, the kind with chocolate on top.

But nobody asks me.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Katrina Butcher recently graduated from UofL with two degrees - English and Cultural Studies - after far too many years in college. Unable to give up her addiction, she immediately enrolled in grad school in her attempt to get that Masters degree she always wanted for Christmas but no one was ever "with it" enough to get her. She spends her five minutes of free time a week with her loving husband, her dog and her cat.