Rampant Rage
Author: Clea Saal
Fandom: The Sentinel
Rating: 13+
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Rampant Rage

I'm still trying to figure it out but the truth is that I can't even begin to comprehend it, how could something that mundane spiral so far out of control so fast is beyond me. There's something wrong in our world when people are so out of balance that they can allow something as insignificant as a minor traffic incident to ruin their lives, and what's worse when a minor traffic incident is enough to cause them to ruin someone else's life. I may be familiar with every conceivable statistic having to do with road rage but that doesn't mean I understand it, not really. Why would a man go so far out of his way to get back at someone for something that shouldn't even have registered in his radar? It just doesn't make any sense.

I know now that there were other things behind it, that --as is usually the case-- the incident with Jim was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but still the way in which he latched on to his anger against Jim... I mean, what are the odds? I'm supposed to be the trouble-magnet in this partnership, the one who draws every psycho within a twenty miles radius... didn't Freeman read the damn fine print?

Anyway, in spite of some seriously disturbing aspects the whole incident was a revealing experience from a psychological and anthropological perspective. It was a perfect example of the price we pay to live in a hyper-competitive society in which everyone lives on the edge. The fact is that we are overworked, over-extended, over-burdened and way out of touch with ourselves but still we keep pushing ourselves harder and harder, living for tomorrow rather than today and --when our castles in the sky come tumbling down to earth-- we are completely unable to cope. That's the price we pay when we define our own success in material terms, when we believe that our worth is defined by what we own.

I don't know, maybe I'm more aware of it because of my mom, because of my own upbringing in which the quest for inner peace played such a pivotal role and material concerns were to be scorned. Ever since I can remember Naomi's always been all but obsessed with the notion of finding herself, of getting rid of all those external elements that might have defined her. Unlike people like Freeman she is always looking for inner peace, going from one retreat to the next, looking for something she can never find. In a way it was a great way for me to grow up, even though now I'm no longer so sure it's such a great way for her to live. In a manner of speaking it is almost as if Naomi were taking things to the extreme in the opposite direction. Freeman was unable to let even the smallest perceived slight slide, my mom's always been a little too willing to renounce everything in an endless quest for an unattainable balance, in an attempt to escape her own anger, never truly loving in the name of her ability to detach with love, never having a place to call home for fear of being chained down... too afraid to even let me call her 'mom' lest she be defined in terms of her relationship to someone else.

Now that I'm detached enough to see it --pun intended-- I can't help but wonder how truly apart my mother's fanatical denial of her own anger as a sort of spiritual taint that must be cleansed really is when compared to Freeman's unrestrained rage... are they opposite ends of the same spectrum, so far apart that they are almost the same?

I don't know... I guess a part of me doesn't want to know. I love my mother but these past couple of years --ever since I met Jim-- I've been forced to reevaluate some of the lessons I learned at an early age, some of the values I was taught as a child and the truth is that it's been incredibly hard. There was so much I never even realized I was missing, things I was taught were freedoms when they were chains instead... like calling my mom by her first name. Yes, asking me to call her Naomi from the time I was a child may have served to blur the power lines between us, it may have served to place us on an equal footing and it may have allowed us both to define ourselves as individuals --whatever that means-- but now I am also old enough to realize that there was an element of protection, a sense of safety I should have been entitled to which was denied to me on behalf of that equality because the fact is that you don't turn to your equal for protection, at least not when you are a child... you turn to your mother, your mommy.

There's a song --Beeswing-- that's always reminded me of Naomi, it's not a well known tune but I still remember the first time I heard it. The truth is that even back then I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry when I heard that chorus, even now I can hear the words in my head... She was a rare thing, fine as a beeswing so fine a breath of wind might blow her away. She was a lost child, she was running wild, she said 'As long as there's no price on love I'll stay, and you wouldn't want me any other way'... sometimes I can't help but wonder if the author of those lyrics was thinking about Naomi as he wrote that particular tune, I don't know, but they certainly fit. That's my mom alright, unwilling to pay the price on love, that price that requires you to put your heart on the line, to allow yourself to feel, to give your all and to risk having your heart broken... with all the pain and rage that that entails. There can be no love without pain and no pain without rage.

That's why rage is such a funny thing. It can easily ruin your life if you allow it to run rampant, that's for sure, but there's no escaping it either, not without paying an equally high price for that 'freedom'.


Author's note: okay, seeing how chances are you've never heard the song in question (it's not exactly one of the best known tunes of the '90s) I figured I might as well include the lyrics here.

Beeswing
(Richard Thompson from the album "Mirror Blue", 1994)

I was nineteen when I came to town
They called it the Summer of Love
They were burning babies, burning flags
The Hawks against the Doves.

I took a job in the Steamie
Down on Cauldrum Street
I fell in love with a laundry girl
Was working next to me.

She was a rare thing
Fine as a beeswing
So fine a breath of wind might blow her away
She was a lost child
She was running wild, she said
'As long as there's no price on love I'll stay
And you wouldn't want me any other way'.

Brown hair zig-zag round her face
And a look of half-surprise
Like a fox caught in the headlights
There was an animal in her eyes.

She said, 'young man, O can't you see
I'm not the factory kind
If you don't take me out of here
I'll surely lose my mind'.

She was a rare thing
Fine as a beeswing
So fine that I might crush her where she lay
She was a lost child
She was running wild, she said
'As long as there's no price on love,I'll stay
And you wouldn't want me any other way'.

We busked around the market towns
And picked fruit down in Kent
And we could tinker lamps and pots
And knives wherever we went

And I said that we might settle down
Get a few acres dug
Fire burning in the hearth
And babies on the rug.

She said 'O man, you foolish man
It surely sounds like hell
You might be lord of half the world
You'll not own me as well'.

She was a rare thing
Fine as a beeswing
So fine a breath of wind might blow her away
She was a lost child
She was running wild, she said
'As long as there's no price on love I'll stay
And you wouldn't want me any other way'.

We was camping down the Gower one time
The work was pretty good
She thought we shouldn't wait for frost
And I thought maybe we should.

We were drinking more in those days
And tempers reached a pitch
Like a fool I let her run
With the rambling itch.

Last I heard she's sleeping out
Back on Derby beat
White Horse in her hip pocket
And a wolfhound at her feet

And they say she even married once
A man named Romany Brown
But even a Gypsy caravan
Was too much settling down.

And they say her flower is faded now
Hard weather and hard booze
But maybe that's just the price you pay
For the chains you refuse.

She was a rare thing
Fine as a beeswing
And I miss her more than ever words could say
If I could just taste
All of her wildness now
If I could hold her in my arms today
Then I wouldn't want her any other way.

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Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I don't own the concepts, I make no money, I make no sense and I get no sleep. This is done for fun and I promise to put the characters back where I found them once I'm done playing with them.


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