Instant Karma is a short story written by Tim Clark and shared via The Ugly Writers under the theme Just Barely for the month of October
There is a joy in the weekends, something primitive, and ancient. Our ancient ancestors never had a five day week, never worked an eight hour shift, didn’t punch the clock, or fill out a time sheet, no time and a half, no paid holidays or accrued vacation, they worked like dogs. I’m not really sure that is even accurate any more, I’ve known a lot of dogs, and never seen one doing anything more taxing than barking at squirrels, and then they needed a two hour nap. Our forebears worked just to have a few scraps to eat and a safe place to catch some rest.
It was those moments of rest and relative safety, wooly mammoth flank sizzling and popping over an open fire that early man thought, “Life ain’t so bad.”
And, that’s the way modern man looks at the weekend. After five days of avoiding predators dressed in Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, or on casual Friday, Levi’s and henley shirts we have a couple of days to work like a dog, ourselves. There is no greater pleasure than a big breakfast, a mid morning nap and a late lunch leading to steaks on the grill, baked potatoes and a cold beer. That’s when you think, “Life ain’t so bad.”
But, it is bad.
The lawn needs mowed, the edges of the lawn edged. Bushes need trimmed, plants need watered, and occasionally fertilized. If you don’t get the lightbulb over the sink changed it will slowly drive you insane. Turning on the overhead fixture, a three bulb monster that generates enough light to tan and enough heat to bake, to pour your coffee is torture. No, there is no rest for the weary, or anybody else for all that matter.
Groceries need shopped and dust needs removed, carpets need vacuumed and floors swept. Dishes are piled to the top of the cabinets and pans are going to need washed before you can even scramble a few eggs, and god knows where the butter is, you can’t have toast without butter, even if you find the toaster in the wreckage of modern living.
Maybe you can just microwave the leftover hash from last night. No, that’s too much work, maybe just eat it cold, right out of the bowl, with a spatula, since all the forks and spoons are dirty. Eat, clean up, wash every dish in the house, how did every dish get dirty. Find the cleanest, least smelly clothes you can and go to the grocery store.
Oh, man, is that place a jungle. Screaming kids, bickering spouses, aisles filled with carts
“No, we can’t afford that, put it back.”
“Hey, do we need milk? No? How about beer?”
Head home, carry in the groceries, put them away, don’t forget to put the ice cream in the freezer and the cheese and yogurt in the refrigerator. Carry the bottled water, soft drinks, and canned vegetables downstairs. Look around and think this place looks ok. Let’s fix dinner and watch a movie.
Life is compromise, sacrifice, instant karma. Everything you get is tied to everything you do. It’s the religion of the living, the here and now, if you want to see a little heaven you have to earn it.
I don’t know if any of this is true, but it might be.
Please support Tim Clark by visiting his previous write-ups here at The Ugly Writers.