Cold Therapy

He didn’t care that the rain was cold. The feeling of the cool, wet particles hitting his face gave him an odd furious joy; it fed him and helped him defy the numbness trying to grab hold of him. He held his arms outstretched for maximum surface area, for maximum feeling; he embraced the rain. And it embraced him back, the wind pressing against him and picking up his coat, the rain pouring out the tears that he wouldn’t cry. The thunder roared with all the fury bottled up inside of him, ready to come loose at any moment.

“Is this all you got?” he screamed, trying to drown out nature with his voice.

He closed his fists as a new sound joined the wind and the thunder, pinching his palms with his nails to add to the symphony of feeling within him as another feeling joined: hail. This only fueled the fury inside, as he had expected it would.

As he marched across the field toward the small copse of trees near his car, he thought of the other methods people had suggested toward coping with the downhill turn in his life. Running? He didn’t want to look like some foolish neon sign. Exercise? He’d never have the time, though who’s fault that was was up for debate. Games? Those only made the problem worse. Music? If only he could do more than listen. A psychiatrist? He was done bottling up this anger for so long. So now he found himself out in a field, alone, shouting at the rain.

The metal bat lay on the ground where he had left it. He picked it up, weighing it in his hand as he surveyed the trees around him. He found the thickest one and approached it. Pulling back, he swung the bat, listening as it went whack! against the wood, chipping the bark.

Some of his friends had suggested a more practical approach to this downhill turn. He needed to work harder, and then he might do better. Ha! He swung again at the tree, feeling the joy that came with the reverberations of the bat colliding with the tree. Didn’t he already have enough on his plate? Sure, he had a few things in each day he could likely do without, but this wasn’t a matter of time.

He continued to hit the tree, expending all his strength in each blow. He gritted his teeth, so tightly that had his tongue come between it might just snap off. The only solution he would find tonight would be in his total exhaustion. He wondered if there even was a solution, or if the only one would come from a God who had no reason to grant him the miracle, or perhaps miracles, he would need.

Was he angry at God? Heavens, no. He had a number of other culprits in his head, some of which were rather juvenile, others of which were too abstract to really blame. Then there was one prominent in his head that he didn’t want to think too much on, because of all the implications that might bring.

At last he lowered the bat. He heaved with the strain of hitting the tree so many dozens of times. He sighed and turned to his car. His anger was satiated, for now, but it wouldn’t be long before he returned for therapy again.

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