I’m more tired than Ron Jeremy after the tenth take. In my rental car. Back from New Jersey. Off the bridge, coming down to the West Side Highway. I pull over to the right. There’s a horn. Blast. BLAST! BLAAAAAAAAST! Some smarmy guy in a Mercedes SUV. He thinks I cut him off. Maybe I did. Sorry.
He pulls past me. The driver’s side window opens. A hairy arm comes out of the open window. At the end of the arm is a hairy hand, middle finger raised.
Something happens. I feel it rising in my body. It’s a kind of pressure, beginning in my belly, a few inches north of the navel. It rises quickly. In waves. One after the other. It rises up over my chest, tingling my nipples. I feel it in my throat—a constriction, as if I were trying to force a cough. Behind it is another wave, moving up from my diaphragm. Northward, ever northward the waves progress. Through my nose, making my breathing shallow, noisy. Up to my eyes. The blood shoots through the whites of my eyes like a speedball shoots through a junkie’s veins. Higher and higher moves the ripple. The first wave hits my brain. Like speed shot directly into the cortex or whatever it is that controls—or releases—emotions.
Reason begins to drain. Then another wave hits the same spot. Reason is completely gone. Awareness of my surroundings, of my body, is gone. There’s only the asshole who gave me the finger. He is THE ENEMY. I’m after him.
I pull the car into the next lane, cutting off the guy who was behind the evil SUV. I pull behind the bastard. There’s no more than three inches between my bumper and his. I see his worried face in his rear-view mirror. I grin back. A maniacal grin. His worry turns to fear.
He signals and pulls into the next lane. Me too. I’m on his tail. I imagine the sweat beading on his face. By the time I’m done, he’ll never give anyone the finger again—even if he lives.
He speeds up. 55, 60, 65. I’m right on his tail. He can’t shake me. He touches the brakes, figuring I’ll screech to a halt. Yeah, right. I’m up his ass. This is rape and the victim deserves it. I again catch his eyes in his rear-view mirror. He looks like he’s going to cry. I laugh loud, head thrown back, eyes bugged out. I hope he can see me. Hear me. I hope he’s shat in his pants. If he calls the cops, I’ll be as innocent as a lamb.
“Chasing him? Sorry, officer, I don’t know what you mean. I was just minding my own business, cruising down the…”
He’s changed lanes again. Fuck. I can’t get over.
I speed up and pull into the next lane, trying to get ahead of him. Then I cut him off. He sees what I’m up to and slows down. Way down. The car behind him gets impatient. It pulls behind me. I pull in front of the SUV to let it pass. Then I pull back into the other lane and slow down. Way down. An exit. He’s off. Away. Damn!
But I feel good. My pulse slows. My breathing deepens. It’s like after an orgasm. Wow! I was a monster. The Hulk. All-powerful. A little guy able to strike terror into the heart of some SUV jock who will never forget me. It makes my night.
People are realizing that hate just feels good. It gets the blood rushing, the nerves pumped. It’s probably not healthy. High blood pressure, strokes, murder. But it is fun. It’s the total abandonment of self. You can become pure id. You’re relieved of all responsibility. You have no worries except the object of your hate. Hate is the name of the game. It was once shunted away, hidden, embarrassing. Now it is in the open. Running free. The world invites you to hate for the fun of it.
You know it’s the force of hate that drives the world. Every synagogue, mosque, church, and temple is a house of hate. And every once in a while, you’ll find yourself praying at your own house of hate—even if you’re not a believer.