Words: Rage Against The Machine

  • Rage Against the Machine
    By Frances Klick


    Photo by Bill Sosin Photography

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Rage against the Machine…

Life was hitting me hard over the last few months, and it had generously delivered a plethora of jabs to the face, upper cuts to the throat and an abundance of swift kicks to the ass. I was going through some major transitions and one hell of a growth period. It felt as if I was in an alternate universe with an entirely new magnetic field, and attracting irate and temperamental individuals into my atmosphere. They seemed to be spawned from a planet that lacked human decency and compassion. As a result, I began to experience this new mind twisting, gut wrenching, nauseating sort of feeling. This strange emotion cleverly disguised itself as anger, when in fact it was anger’s more aggressive, resentful brother Rage. Rage was a real rat bastard. He tugged at my heartstrings and mocked me with delight. I was his puppet, and he, my puppet master. My heart was palpitating, veins pulsating, and my blood levels were at a dangerous all time high. It was officially announced a “CODE RED” and I was feeling out of control. It was true, I was capable of a cataclysmic explosion of catastrophic proportions, and chaos was sure to ensue if this frenzy and fury was not subdued. One restless night I dove out of bed and frantically yelled to myself, "You MUST go to the gym NOW! Right now! Get up! Go!!!" Shaken by my very own directive, I gathered supplies, strapped on my Nikes, hit the pavement and prepared for battle.

I marched left then right and sang songs of war cry in an attempt to ease my violence and pain. I made my way to the gym safe and sound, dodging bullets and bypassing landmines. I sat and claimed an empty seat to gather my thoughts and catch my breath, only to be sabotaged by the likes of one money hungry salesman. I tightened my jaw and grinded my teeth as he insisted I pay more and get an upgraded membership. I kindly declined while containing my primal instinct to bite off his head, and kept my inner preying mantis at bay. New gym pass in hand, I clenched my cold clammy fists and stampeded toward the treadmills. “You!” I declared as I found my innocent victim. Shoulders squared, I stood there and stared. It had all come down to this. Rage against the machine… two of us would enter the ring, but only one would leave. I chose my poison, entered it into the keypad, and ran!


I had the intensity of Forest Gump, running far and wide, with enough stamina to have undoubtedly outgrown his beard. I ran for the pain in my heart and frustration of my mind, but my emotions gained speed and I began to run for all of mankind! I ran for the sick! I ran for the poor! I ran for just about every damn near injustice I could possibly think of. It was clear Rage was eating away at my soul and it would soon be the death of me if I did not get it under control. I was weak and out of shape, and it had been a year since I last saw the inside of a gym, but I would run until I had nothing left to give so this toxic beast could no longer feed, and the only way was to sweat it out of me!

My mouth was dry like the Sahara Desert sand and my skin exuded steam from the heat. My muscles throbbed and spasmed, my chest cringed from sharp shooting pains and my lungs began to cave in. The harder I ran the lighter my emotional baggage began to feel. The louder my music blared, the quieter my adverse thoughts appeared. A heavy thick fog was being lifted from my head and my vision was becoming clear. The smell of sweet freedom and release was sure to be near. I slowed down the pace and regained my composure as I began to breathe normal once again. Meanwhile Rage curled up into a little ball and licked his bloody paws with exhaustion and defeat. He soon surrendered and went to sleep as I celebrated my victory. I was proud for winning the war that day, but I knew the beast had merely been tamed, for I was his home, and this is where he would loyally stay. I needed to train him and teach him a new way of life, instead of shaming him and pushing him away. If I could treat Rage with compassion and understanding we could work with one another, perhaps even grow to appreciate each other. I could show Rage the joy of living a life of happiness, and how to bask in the sunlight. Rage could help me see strength in my own darkness and enjoy the stars at night.

Rage had unknowingly sparked a MAGNIFICENT fire inside of me! I didn’t douse it with gasoline to ignite its hostility or drown it in water to put out its blaze, but instead I honored this fire by telling its story and giving it a new name. I thanked Rage for showing me sides of myself I did not know were there. I thanked him for allowing me to see what no longer served me and for providing an opportunity for change. No judgment would be cast and there would be no blame to give. I decided to raise my white flag to Rage and suggest our two forces unite. No longer waging wars, but instead becoming allies. Rage and I had come together in celebration of our differences, proclaiming that our place of pain created a magnificent new POWER.

WordsFlow Johnson