Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I do not like

work. I have no admiration for those described as "hardworking". I do not see work as valuable, in and of itself. Don't want it scribbled even in rain-pervious chalk upon my gravestone. The most I can say about work is just what Queen Elizabeth, when pressed by her people, finally said about Diana. "She was a remarkable woman". I, in front of the TV, hooted with appreciation of her adroit use of English. Diana, she had said, was a woman able-to-be-remarked-about. Nothing more. The queen didn't really give an inch to her subjects. That's about all I can say of work. It worth talking about. The fact that the world is full of folks subscribing to striving is remarkable.

Gotta get stuff done? Well don't forget the old acid test: if you knew you had one day left to live...Some would reach for the vacuum cleaner, others for unpaid bills. First I'd grab C. before he could go off to work. Then, armed with chocolate and coffee, we'd watch the sunrise over the distant hills of Manchester and watch the miniature skyline of Hartford (workplace-to-be-avoided)begin to catch fire. We'd look through our entire photo collection and I'd open the storage boxes that hold all our old T shirts. Touch each one of them just once more. I'd rummage through the box labeled "Ephemera" into which were tossed all the bits of paper that used to be on the fridge, labels from significant bottles of wine, our subway passes from Paris, a verdigrised shower drain salvaged from an old YMCA, a shriveled leather racquetball glove. In the evening, while C. would make his (some would call it remarkable) wonderful pasta and peppers, I'd paint a final picture without plan or direction. It's fascinating to me that I have no idea what this would look like. I suspect that it would contain that shade of periwinkle that is my own natural color. The color of a pack of those French cigarettes, Galois (sp?).

We'd open a bottle of Shiraz Mourvedre, and then I'd spend the rest of the night doing what I do best: haggling, bargaining and ultimately winning from the clock more time, more days, more wine.

That's the best thing about being a person who plays more than works: I don't have any sense that this will ever end. Workers, on the other hand, always have a sense of the goal and the accomplishment. Work is always terminal, but never over. I've never heard a worker say "That floor could not be cleaner. There is no speck of dirt on it." The most they will say as they hang up the mop is "You could eat off that floor". Well so what? I've put my mouth on some things a lot more suspect in this world of dirt than most of the floors we transgress and I'm no worse for it.

You will excuse me. I've got to get cleaned up and dressed because I am now extremely late for work.

2 comments:

Calliope Terme said...

I have long since eschewed the notion, established by an earlier generation, that whistling while one works gives one a sense of happiness. So I, like Guenevere, ask: what else do the simple folk do?

They dance, they sing, and they ask: what do the royal folk do? So on it goes...

Can't the word be redefined somehow. Let's see, working is the process which, if done well, creates hours of play, time for what's real, ephemera, the sun, the moon, the sea, and folks whom we love and make us laugh.

So eat off the floor with great abandon! It's all a banquet, you know.

farmboyz said...

Thank you Calliope, and be assured, my tongue aches with new slivers delivered daily by the floors of undiscovered places.