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Tuesday
Mar182008

Pain Don't Hurt

Thanks to Holy Week and the publication of this, I'm continuing to reflect on pain, the first emotion we are aware that another human being experiences (bong hit). I'm settling with the notion that as a writer, I sell my pain--wrap it up in adjectives and put it up for auction on the Internet.

Maybe this is why I could never bend myself to a normal, adult job. The same obsessive-compulsive disorder has mercifully not descended upon Julie The Nephews Mama-- it found no quarter in the sharp right angles of her accountant's mind. Josh The Pilot and I just signed our first joint tax return (I'm assuming that there is some gift shop in America which sells just the right greeting card for the occasion.) She prepared it for us. I paged through the neatly organized stacks of paper, the lines filled in precisely so, the directions highlighted. It reminded me of the evening my grandfather and Country The Brother-In-Law's grandfather once spent, seated on my parents' condo balcony and incredulously watching the lights of jet after jet descend into the Cincinnati airport. "Boy, they really know where they're going, don't they?" my grandfather said. "Right to it, every time!"

This was no big deal to the pilots and the controllers, of course. But for a person born only six years after the Wright Brothers' flight, it was something which awed and humbled him; it was logically understood and yet personally unattainable. It was exactly what I felt as I stared at the evenly arranged paper clips: How'd she do that? And where did she find the ability and the fortitude to spend day after day of her life doing it?

I suppose this is where my endless parade of day jobs comes in. The tributaries of pain and experience form a river of material-- it is rocky, dangerous, and wild, but it is deep. Shakespeare himself once drew from it. As a young man, he helped his father make gloves of flexible hide, hour after hour; later, in Twelfth Night, he compared truth to the highly stretchable kid leather. It's a deft metaphor which would have never appeared... had he not a day job.

my way or the highway at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (6)

Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Chris Moran

March 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris Moran

Completely irrelevant to this post:
I just want to state for the record that I truly love to read your blog. Random compliment.

March 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Literary Vagrant

"I suppose this is where my endless parade of day jobs comes in."

I completely understand where you're coming from, having worked a plethora of part-time jobs in an effort to figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up.

The most painful part, for me, was throwing myself into each one with the belief that it was the next rung on the ladder to success. I was horribly wrong. Good thing I don't bet on horses or play the lottery.

March 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterj.s.

Random compliments are often the best--I thank you.

And, J.S.... exactly. It's only now that I am coming to terms with my very low limits. Job after job, I'd think, "I can do it this time. This time, I'll manage, and it will be so much better than the others." And it never was.

March 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Chris and Lit Vagrant, thanks for stopping by. I love reading MB's blog, too, which is why I ended up marrying her! Even though I live with her now, I still log on every day at work (on break of course) with great anticipation to see what she's written.

I love you, darlin'!

March 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJosh The Pilot

Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday, so that makes this a particularly painful Holy Week for me :-(

March 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie
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