No doubt about it: there is a brief, sharp pleasure at getting your digs in. Translates well in that pumping motion matched with the hissing “yessssss” of the sports person laying the opponent to waste. And the winner is….. YESSSSS.
OK. Congrats. Lights, camera, contracts, luxury watches bigger than a diner plate. Bodyguards, maybe? Fancy kennel dogs; a few thoroughbreds, a vineyard or two. Women, if you’re into women, men, lots and lots, if those are your preference. yesssssssss.
Oops. Don’t forget the Botox. Nasty ridges developing between the eyebrows. A touch of plastic surgery, too, while you’re at it. And so on. And so forth. Spite by any other name still feels the same. Anger? Resentment? The surgery can snip off the outward signs. The laser doesn’t exist yet that can zap the stuff out of the inner makeup.
The scramble. Ever see it? Ever experience it? When everyone in a crowd decides they will get their hands on the prize (or their body through the exit) before everybody else? It’s not pretty. It doesn’t reveal the best in people, any more than a stampede over the cliff with his buddies adds to a lemming’s life expectancy. But it’s a great illustration of the yessss and the me-first pushed to their ultimate conclusion.
Dealing with the uglier parts of the human heart, brain, bowels and genitals. Choosing how to express annoyance, frustration, aggression, spite, vindictiveness. Choosing to explore them all in ways that won’t destroy your own, or someone else’s chances at moving on to other parts of the landscape. That’s one part of what writing is about, at least, for me. Can’t do a thing about human nature except choose my own way of dealing with it; make my mistakes, learn from them, move on. Which is also what story is all about.