Ever had a real bad itch? Like a mosquito done bit you right on your thigh; and you don’t have not one thing to stop it from itching.
That’s what fightin’ mad feel like; like a real bad itch that make you feel like you gonna explode. It’s when you so mad, you got blood in your eyes that’s runnin’ fast down your face. I like to say fightin’ mad ‘steada that p-word that mean the same thing. I don’t like that word, but ya’ll know what I mean right? You ever felt that kinda mad? Like you just wanna hit something or somebody? I felt like that a few times in my life. Didn’t feel good at all – and because of it, I lost a-plenty of things. I’ll tell you ’bout one thing. But first lemme introduce myself.
My name is Minnie Stree T. Wise. Come October first, I’ll be 95 years old. Well, calendar say I’m old, but I don’t feel nothing but alive. I’ve lived a right good life too. Done had me a good husband. We didn’t have no kids though. That was one of the things that made me see blood in front of my eyes. I couldn’t give him none. Doctor took all my furniture out when I wasn’t nothin but 25 years old.
Took me a long time to reckon with that. Thought I was cheatin that good man o’ mine by not giving him no babies. He didn’t feel that way and he told me so. But I didn’t believe him at first. All that guilt and disappointment I felt used to sit right tall and heavy on my chest – almost crushed my heart. I needed to get it off my chest you hear me? I was hurtin’ and I wanted somebody else to hurt too. Then one day all that hurt just blew outta me, like a volcano that’s got too full.
I was workin that day. Had just finished making the stew for Missy Hester’s bridge party when she walked in the kitchen and over to the stove. She always liked to test the food. I went on out the kitchen to get her silver service so’s I could get it shined up. I come back in the kitchen just in time to see Missy Hester spit in that pot ‘a stew I just made!
Well my tongue commenced to flappin’ you hear me? What she mean, spittin’ in food I done just took three hours to fix up good? I put my hands on my hips – back then I had a nice hefty set – and told her off! Cleared my chest of all the hurt I’d been feelin’ ’bout babies, and cleaned out some cobwebs that been hangin’ around from workin’ with her too, while she stood there – that pale face ‘a hers turnin pink and then beet-colored. And right before all that screamin’ I was doin’ sent that stupid husband ‘a hers in to throw me out, I hawked up a big ole slimy wad from that cold I was still fightin’, and spit it right in the pot ‘a stew alongside hers!
Took care ‘a that itch real good didn’t I? May be I took care ‘a it too good. I didn’t just lose that job, but Missy Hester fix it so none ‘a her friends would give me jobs anymore either. Took me awhile to calm down – and then I realized that it took about 60 seconds to give away a job that took me a month to find. I was out of a job! I mean what did I care if she spit in her food? She bought it and she was gonna be the one eatin’ it, not me.
Truth was, I was fightin mad that I couldn’t have no babies and ‘steada dealin’ with it, I let it fizzle and pop and boil inside ‘a me til I went and exploded.
That’s how you lose things in your life – and it don’t take but a minute; just one minute when you so out ‘a control that you can’t get your brain to think. I hope you don’t never have to feel that minute.
Well, I’m gon’ take me a nap. Come on back an’ visit next time.