Anger feels like a tense rubber ball growing inside him. He takes it with him everywhere. Certain conditions seem to make it heavier or lighter. Yesterday at work when Jeremy said,

‘Do you mind if I have this music on’ and he’d said

‘No that’s fine’

the ball grew and throbbed and bounced and when he stood up to go to the toilet to get away from the shitty trashy capital radio bullshit, he staggered under the weight of it. He stayed in the toilet for 20 minutes at least and shitting seemed to make it smaller. It was hot and acidic now though and all afternoon especially when the radio ads came on, he felt it churn and sear inside.

‘You OK their matey’, said Jeremy three or four times.

‘Oh yeah fine matey,’ said Kevin,  ‘just fine, just a bit of dodgy belly, curry last night I reckon.’

‘Shit yeah, know what you mean.’

On the way home on the train waiting on the platform he felt it lurch as the train approached and the woman with the large bags pushed to the front of the platform and something sharp in her bag dug into his ribs. He made a small grunt of pain and she looked angrily at him, as if he’d insulted her. He looked down at his shoes then in the opposite direction towards the approaching train. When it stopped the doors were right in front of the barging woman and he got on just behind her in time to see her take the last seat and look round at him and smirk.

He stood in the area by the door, not wanting to get squashed near the seats but so many people got on that he was squashed anyway. The ball was expanding all the way home and he had to look down at his shirt several times t see if it was showing, expecting to see a bulging growth where he could feel it pushing from inside. Twice, the tall bloke who was talking loudly on his phone throughout stepped backwards onto his toe, not noticing or if he did, not saying anything and certainly not apologising. Kevin didn’t mind but the ball did, a lot. It was as if it wanted to strike out at the lanky stepper, whose feet were huge, size 13 thought Kevin and luckily enough he weighed a lot too, being tall and broad. The ball seemed unfazed by the bulk of this behemoth though and lurched towards him throughout the journey. Kevin had to hold it back all the time silently telling it that it wasn’t worth it. Every now and then when he seemed to have persuaded it, and it was still and he was able to relax and just look out of the window, the ball leapt, or tried to leap, dragging Kevin’s body with it, almost nudging the gigantic stepper violently.

It took him by surprise three times before he had to get off the train at the next stop and just move along away from danger. Naturally he couldn’t get on again and had to wait for the next train, all the while listening to the furious ranting of the now hardened rubber ball. He hadn’t mentioned it yet but when he got home he knew that his parents were coming round.