“So, now I’ll start from the beginning.” She circled back. “I don’t think we’ve had this conversation before…” Mistress paused stirring to look at me, “Just like the earth has a molten core, I am literally built around a core of anger. I am angry all the time.”
“But that doesn’t mean I can’t make pretty mountains, trees, beaches.” Her tone changed to light to terrifying in an instant, “But I am a volcano waiting to happen at any moment. I love how anger feels. Absolutely love it. But I hate what it does to other people. I am a natural disaster of anger. If you felt overwhelmed by what I gave you on Thursday?”
She paused again to look at me, away from her cooking, “You have NO idea the capacity I have. I am a volcano ready to erupt at any moment. All I have is anger.”
I shifted on my feet, trying to remain impossibly invisible.
“You see it when I hate the patriarchy. You see it when I estrange myself from my mother and sister. You see it when I take a decade to talk to my ex even though I still love him.” Her voice broke.
Then I broke. Tears came unbidden.
“I wasn’t angry at you until Thursday and now I don’t know what to do, Ashtyn. Because we are incompatible- if you cannot handle my anger? It would be like telling Chris he can’t beat you. If you can’t get yelled at? If it ‘hurts your feelings’ and you have to walk out on me? And I have to worry whether or not you self-harm? It’s about you! So that you don’t self-harm! Not about me making sure the volcano has a chance to erupt so that it has a chance to be over.”
My eyes closed as I tried to compose myself.
“You literally tried to put a cork in a volcano, Ashtyn,” She shook her head in disgust, “and I’m pissed about that. Because you didn’t want a volcano.”
“But that’s what I am.” She said with finality.
Mistress let an ominous silence settle over the kitchen. She transferred the chicken to the pot and stirred. Then she gave a quick sigh, “Before we spend too much time, I know am not going to change. Because I don’t have to change.”
“We’ve gone this far without a fight. But we will always fight when you make a bad decision.” She began with gusto, “When you make a decision that’s different than the decision I would make.” Her hand slammed on the counter, “What did I tell you we were doing here? I am training you to be me! I am training you to make the same decision I would make in the same situation. The same set of resources. You did not do that this week.”
“It could have just been a lesson. And we could have had some punishment and it would have been over, but Ashtyn you walked out on me.” She whispers the last part with such an expression on her face. It conveyed everything and nothing. That she was furious and right and disappointed and at the same time, it meant not a thing. I knew we were over. I was already cutting the threads of our relationship.
“Apparently you walked out on Chris, too. Because he hadn’t known where you had gone. What makes you think you get to walk out? Why did you walk out? I mean. Why?”
That was a separate matter, I thought. “I just needed to get away.” I had needed to get in my car and hit my head and wrench my hair and scream and cry. I needed a bloody autistic meltdown that I couldn’t get with her yelling at me in her car. Of course I left. No one wants to see me like that.
“Well, you might get more than you bargained for there. How ‘away’ do you really want to be, Ashtyn? I don’t chase after people.” But she had. She called me that day. When I was 2 blocks away pulled over and red in the face from screaming and crying. She told me to make my way to the flower arranging class one of two ways. The two choices she gave me were to get back in her car or go in mine. As I was already in my car and looked like a fucking mess, I made the decision to go on my own and calm down.
“You want to leave?” She asked, then pointed to the door, “Fucking go.”