He had better things to do that day. He was putting together a shed in the backyard. He remembered when his father would put things together. He didn’t like reading directions, and when he’d mess up, he’d blame everybody. The first person he yelled at was always Jared because he would be the only one willing to help him.
Jared promised that he would never get angry like his father, especially toward his son He would take a couple of deep breaths when he felt his emotions rise too high and slowly count to ten.
“One, two, three, four…” Jared counted when he had trouble matching the side panels of the shed. He tried reading the directions, but it seemed to confuse him even more. The screwdriver handle snapped. His son’s Beagle, Lucky, was by his side and barked when he saw how Jared got frustrated. Jared tried to hold it together, but he knew it was futile. I’m going to blow up just like my father, Jared thought and called his father a sonovabitch under his breath. He could still feel his father’s belt on his back and shoulders where the scars were. He could feel the anger build up with every crack of the belt. Jared threw the rest of the screwdriver over the hedges into his neighbor’s yard. “Goddamn it!” he shouted. “Nobody could put this piece of junk together with these fricken tools.”
His son was in the house watching his dad get angry from the bay window in the living room. He was too afraid to go outside and play with Lucky.
Jared’s wife came outside to help.
“l don’t need any help!” he shouted.
“Jared, honey. You know what you’re therapist told you. Anger comes from an irrational thought. Put the hammer down for a while and think things through.”
“I’m not frustrated!” he shouted. “And stop being my therapist!”
His wife didn’t respond. She understood. She knew it wasn’t about the shed. He put things together more complicated in the past without getting upset. She knew that his anger ran much deeper this time. It was about his father’s funeral. Jared wanted to be there.