But when extremely provoked, I can get to the point where I can no longer formulate an argument. It's as if when I look inward, to read the diagram of my reasonable objection on the wall of my brain, there's a lens over my eyes that's out of focus, and I just can't read the writing. All I can do is feel furious, and express that, and basically only that.
This is why when I'm arguing with someone I care about, and who I don't want to hurt - but who has made me angry, I disengage emotionally, a little. It's to make sure that reason and compassion are still writ large and clear on the wall, and that those are the words I'm reading, not reacting to the stress and discomfort of being angry. It takes a lot to rile me up out of that carefully constructed state of mind; but repeated exposure to the same infuriating shit certainly chips away at my "zen".
Twice today already I've been so mad my eyes-crossed and I was just left spluttering. It's not a good way to spend my day, and I have the highest hopes that the rest of it - dinner and a movie with my wife and her family (our family!) will be a heck of a lot better. But right now I just want to throw skunks with titanium claws and laser eyes at a few people.