Our Anger, and Where to Put It

Heather Nowlin
5 min readAug 19, 2020
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

“I’m so angry. And I have no idea where to put it.”

This was Della Street, the firebrand character on HBO’s new Perry Mason series, lamenting the state of her world just a few days into her team’s defense on a murder trial with all the odds stacked against them.

But, she may as well have been speaking for me — and for all of us.

Trigger warning, here’s a list of things we all know and are sick to death of hearing about: There’s a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic happening, the economy and livelihoods of millions of are suffering more than any other time since the Great Depression because of it, domestic abuse counts are up as is hunger and unemployment. There’s a once-in-a-generation reckoning with race relations that has led to important change, but not without anger, violence, and death. And there’s an abundance of national and local leadership obscenely ill-equipped to deal with any of it, leading to more uncertainty, sickness, inequality, suffering, and death. And that’s not even mentioning the climate crisis and the rising natural disasters case counts happening right along with it — people displaced from windstorms in the Midwest, record-breaking heatwaves that make storms and start wildfires, and earthquakes in places there were never earthquakes before.

It’s a lot. It very rightly should make us all angry — and it certainly has.

A masked and hurried trip to the grocery store a few weeks ago ended in the parking lot with another customer leaning on his horn at me and my middle finger in the air. I was putting my groceries in the back seat, which meant having the car door open, and the other customer was simply unable to wait for me to finish unloading before he could park in the empty space next to me. Tensions from shopping in the first place, and moving about in a world that’s now a constant threat to life and liberty, had apparently placed us on edge, and neither of us was able to appeal to the better angels of our natures. We both met a stressful moment gracelessly, and both failed accordingly.

Then there was last night, when my patience with my beloved partner — my heart, my delight, and the best quaranteammate anyone could ever hope for — reached its end. There has been a stack of bills, papers, unidentified documents, and those…

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Heather Nowlin

Favorite topics: politics, mental health, travel, business/the office, humans, dogs, empathy, pop culture, movies, books, TV, plays, theatre.