Men, according to at least some women you know, have no tolerance for pain, or at least none worth mentioning; while she can deliver a nine-pound baby, walk two miles home, and then rearrange the living-room furniture, a slight touch of the flu will reduce him to a quivering lump, wrapped in blankets, on that same sofa she just turned ninety degrees.

I would complain bitterly about this sort of blatant sexual stereotyping, but it would be hypocritical in the extreme, since, in my case at least, it's more or less true.

For some reason yet undetermined, my entire left side yesterday decided that motion was optional, and that it would decline the option. Inasmuch as I tend to favor the left side anyway my right knee is in about the same shape as a CV joint with a torn boot on an '82 Dodge Aries this reduced my gait from slow shuffle to glacial ooze, and every other step was punctuated with a muscle spasm that wasn't actually induced by a cattle prod, but you couldn't prove it by me. Painkillers were swallowed, to insignificant effect. And the day in question being a Friday, I could count on running well past eight hours at work, which added to my general sense of malaise.

It didn't help that a couple of members of the Cute Pool seemed to be playing up their status that day, reminding me that no one is ever looking for a spastic, inelastic lover. Not that I was considering playing this particular field, of course, but I never seem to lack for reminders of The Futility Of It All.

By about three-thirty, I was hoping for something a bolt of lightning, a collapsed wall, a poison dart between the shoulder blades anything to put me out of my misery. Finally, a few ticks past six, eleven hours recorded on the clock, I shut down the shop, staggered out to my car, and drove right into a thunderstorm. Just what I needed in my way-less-than-100-percent physical condition: a serious test of my driving skills. (I passed, but I was not happy with my work, and the usual dire curses I normally utter in the presence of roadbound obstacles were amplified by six or seven decibels.)

And now comes the weekend and I feel like hell. No wonder the women laugh.

The Vent

1 May 2004

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 Copyright © 2004 by Charles G. Hill