“I WANT IT NOW!” – Verruca Salt
I may be the most impatient son of a bitch I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. I’m not exaggerating when I make that statement. Impatience has been a hallmark of my character since I was a little boy. And when I say impatience I don’t mean the normal kid excited for Christmas morning level either I mean the make myself puke kind of impatience.
When I was in the first grade, my mother had her issues and went to stay with my grandmother in Dayton, Ohio for a few weeks. She took my infant unnamed brother and left me alone with my father. It was an amazing time of staying up entirely too late and grilling stakes in the rain. That all came to a self-induced, crashing halt three days before my mother came home.
The GI JOE comic book and companion television cartoon had entered my life not long before my mom left and it was all my friends and I could talk about. To this day GI JOE is probably my number one childhood pop culture touchstone after Star Trek, so you can imagine how excited I was when the commercials for the toy line started airing on TV. When Mom told me on one of our nightly phone calls that she’d bought me a GI JOE Action figure in Dayton, I nearly pissed myself.
If she’d told me the night before coming home everything would have been fine. But in thinking, she was doing me a favor by telling me as soon as she bought it she actually took an emotional haymaker at me and never knew it. That is NOT to say I’m blaming my mother for what happened next, for fuck sake she did something incredibly generous for me. It’s not her fault I have the nerves and patience of a jittery hyper-caffeinated hummingbird.
The first night of anticipation was awesome. I reread all of my GI JOE comics a hundred times and drew picture after picture depicting my interpretation of the subject matter. The second day wasn’t so good. I spent the day listless and jumpy at the same time. All I could think of was the action figure and how awesome it was going to be to have and play with it. That’s still barely within the normal spectrum of childhood impatience.
What happened on day three crossed the line.
I remember it clearly. It was Monday and therefore I was in school. We were nearing the end of the day and my best friend, Jason’s mom Laura came to pick him up early. While she was there, I asked her if my mom was home. They were also best friends and lived right across the street from us, so it was a valid question to ask her. She said Mom was home and that yes she had my brand new GI JOE action figure. That boils and ghouls was when the anxiety and impatience spiked dramatically.
I vomited ten minutes later all over the classroom floor.
After that, my impatience manifested in many interesting ways. Fear, rage, sickness, and anxiety being the primary venues those manifestations chose. Most people hate waiting, but for me, it’s enough that if the line at a theater or restaurant is too long, I’ll just say fuck it and walk away. In the process, I may or may not break something or yell at an unsuspecting companion.
I know it makes me sound like a petulant child, but I swear I do my best to control it. For every one instance when I lose my control and make a complete jackass out of myself there are a dozen times I hold it together. That’s not an excuse. There is no excuse for such base and immature behavior, I’m just telling you how things are.
Nothing has been affected by my impatience, other than my poor, suffering and amazing family, more than my writing. One of the main reasons I was never able to jumpstart my career for so many years was because the process of finishing a manuscript drove me insane. I was convinced I’d never be able to write a complete book from start to finish without going insane. Obviously based on the amount of wordage I’ve spewed into the universe in the last four years that fear was unfounded.
Still, impatience permeates my life. From my hatred of cooking to my loathing of the time it takes to do the laundry, my everyday life has been saturated by impatience-induced problems. It’s the time it takes to do normal everyday activities like shaving and making the bed that drives me to reenact the face-shredding scene from Poltergeist, not the actual task.
It’s all so tiring and mind breaking.