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Love and Work, Yin and Yang

Being in a relationship is like having a job. Good and bad meet, mix, mingle and ferment. It takes turns you never expected when you joined the “team.” There are times it seems like the best place in the world, heaven on earth. Nothing lasts forever, though.

Love and Work, Yin and Yang is an editorial piece written by Tim Clark and shared with The Ugly Writers under the theme PIYAR for the month of February

 

Love and Work, Yin and Yang

 

“That woman she don’t understand

The way my mind keeps drifting

And the Lord don’t always lend a hand

When my poor heart needs lifting”[1]

Being in a relationship is like having a job. Good and bad meet, mix, mingle and ferment. It takes turns you never expected when you joined the “team.” There are times it seems like the best place in the world, heaven on earth. Nothing lasts forever, though. Things go sour, turn rancid. Your only hope is escape. Relationships and employment are the best and worst of life. They feed each other

You need to be employed if you are in a long term, committed relationship. It just won’t work unless you have a job. You need someplace to go when things get tense, and they will. Honestly, love is a glorious blessing from the gods. Man has only so much capacity for bliss, though.

Sooner or later love, the joy begins to chafe, and all of those adorable quirks transmogrify into annoying personality convulsions designed and implanted by an evolutionary Malthusian effort to control the explosive growth of mankind. At that point going to work is the best therapy. The alarm clock saves more marriages than the florist.

Work is a release from the responsibilities of relationship. An oasis in a desert of endless monogamy. From the alarm clock to the time clock, frying pan into the fire. Saved by the hourly wage system.

“And the masters make the rules

For the wisemen and the fools”[2]

You go in, and follow orders, bow and scrape and kowtow to people dressed in khaki and Polo. “Your little horse logo is looking glossy and sharp today, ma’am.” Abrasions begin to appear in your psyche, you can feel yourself being pulled into the pit. An army of automatons shambles past, and you take your spot, row 7 cohort 3. You wonder if there is first aid for self-respect and dignity.

Your seat is still warm from yesterday and the smell of defeat hangs in the air. The atmosphere is humid and thick with tears and the sounds of abject despair. Breathing is difficult and your vision begins to blur around the periphery. Then the bell rings, quitting time.

“Cause I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe

I believe that there are better days ahead,

I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe

I believe there’s a heaven before I’m dead” [3]

Pavlov’s dog had nothing on the modern employee. Everybody is smiling, everybody is alive with anticipation. Nobody understands the power of the time clock, but everybody responds, the release of adrenaline and endorphins, a cocktail of time dilation and immediacy, you can wait, you have to, the line to punch out is long and moves glacially, but you can’t wait to get on the freeway and head home. When you finally press that button to signal your day is over the electricity shoots up your spine into your brain, you made it. Sweet freedom waits, the wife and the warmth of home and hearth. A little coin jingling in your pocket.

Dinner and television, the daily paper, the price of gasoline is up, the cost of groceries is climbing. Supplies of essentials are shrinking. If you could find packaged meat at the supermarket you wouldn’t be able to afford it. Everything on television stinks, life is a cesspool, and you’re the smallest rat fighting for survival. Who could last under this kind of pressure? Then she smiles at you, and you know it’s all worth it. If only you could get her to stop rewinding the movie and fast forwarding through the all the fight scenes (you can insert any annoying behavior here, just don’t tell your one true love).

“As she floats in the kitchen
I’m tasting the smell, yeah
Of toast as the butter runs
Then she comes, spilling crumbs on the bed
And I shake my head”[4]

Every pleasure has some pain and all the time and effort you put into it will be the only reward you will ever get out of life. I’ve been married a long time, and it’s had some ups and downs, but I live to hear her voice. I raise my coffee cup to Cupid and Saint Valentine; love is the greatest mystery. More importantly, I toast all of you out there struggling to get by, worried about tomorrow, living each minute, wondering about the next, I’m rooting for you, all of you.

[1] Life ain’t Easy by Doctor Hook and The Medicine Show

[2] It’s Alright Ma, (I’m Only Bleeding) by Bob Dylan

[3] Heaven by The Del Lords

[4] Wond’ring Aloud by Jethro Tull

 

Read more from Tim Clark by visiting his website at Life, Explained or by checking out his previous write-ups here at The Ugly Writers.

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the ugly writers

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Tim Clark

Tim Clark is a writer, blogger, novice political activist, husband and father, from Columbus, Ohio.

He has proudly written for The Ugly Writers, Street Speech, a local homeless advocacy newspaper and Lefty Pop

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