A Love Affair with Pain

It’s always been there.  Pain is so much a normal way of life that if it isn’t present she seeks it.  Pain is a privilege.  It’s reserved for the living.  Eternal peace?  Isn’t that what death is for?  If it hurts, it’s real and tangible.

People welcome pain differently.  Denial, estrangement, and disregard create a frenzy of normalcy.  It’s a Christmas Card.  This is Life.  Life is Good.  And it is.  But not without pain.  Others go deep into pain until it numbs them solid.  Drugs, alcohol, movies- purchases all to entertain and soothe.  A few lucky bastards live life like an etch a sketch- create grief and then shake it gone.  Gone.

Some of the best athletes are obsessed with pain.  Emotional pain haunts their dreams and walks their shadows.   Physical pain buries itself in sore muscles, breaks and chronic injuries.  And if for a blissful moment they are actually pain free- they seek pain with a vengeance.

Sometimes it isn’t the most talented person who wins, but it is the one who is willing to suffer the most.  Pain.  She must have pain.  Her proudest memories reside in it- blood, sweat and tears sound like joy.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions?  The path of the righteous is through his suffering?  Enlightenment is one big starvation fest?  Monks on fire?  We want our heroes to suffer.  So that we don’t have to?  She doesn’t think so.  We all want the right and privilege to pain.

The good pain.

To ride that high of burning alive through sport is such a treat to anyone who walks with pain.  There is no limit to where one will push themselves when fear and pain become blessings.  Limits are the worst demons of pain- self doubt, guilt, jealousy, envy, idleness, apathy.  Well behaved women never made history.  Gentlemen cut the deepest wounds.  

As soon as pain dissipates she seeks it.  She is an athlete main lined or side lined.  She isn’t alone.


Nobody seems to pick up a fallen penny anymore.  Even a child will step across it and definitely NOT exclaim Oh!  I found a lucky penny!

In a coffee shop, she watches a man drop a penny.  He looks down and walks away.  The little copper Lincoln just lies there.  If that man should come upon a Wishing Well, he would need only one penny to make a damn wish.  She picks it up.

It was 99 cents.  It wasn’t a dollar and it wasn’t 95 cents.  How exactly do you think you get those four cents?  Four pennies.  Of course it’s not just four pennies because of Taxes.  Has the IRS forgotten pennies the way the public seems to have?  Little Johnny IRS would definitely stop and pick up that man’s fallen penny.

Hey Mister!  I got your penny!

Oh, thanks Kid.  He puts out an open palm.

Finders Keepers Losers Weepers!

It takes pennies to make up a dollar.  Seconds to make up a minute.  Minutes to make up an hour.  When was the last time you cared about a second?  Oh you’re a RUNNER!  Never mind.

Written on the chalk wall behind the counter are the words It Takes a Valley to Make a Mountain.

Highs are not found without lows.  If the parts were all equal, it would be The Great Plains and even there a river must meander its way cutting and carving against the grain.

She sticks the penny in her pocket and later finds it clicking away in her dryer.  She throws it into a jar on the kitchen counter next to the Fuck it Bucket.  She really likes common cents.


Dinner is simmering on the stove and she places the vacuum back in the cupboard.  She pauses to say, “Sit.”  Two children and a dog drop.  The children quietly pencil over their homework while the dog politely tilts his head adorably.

“I love you Mommy,” the children say in perfect unison.

“I love you too my darlings.”

She dusts her way down the hallway and glances at her reflection in the mirror.  Her hair is soft, her eyes are bright, and her ass is high and tight.  The house is clean, the kids are brilliant, the dog is behaved, the taxes are paid, the groceries are stocked and she brought her own bags, the hedges are hedged and the phone is ringing.

It’s her BFF.

“I just wanted to call you and tell you that you are awesome!  Thank you for the organic vegetables from your garden and for volunteering for absolutely everything forever and ever.”

“Oh you’re welcome.  You are awesome too!”  She hangs up the phone and wonders if she would have been an even better friend if she had told her BFF that the last time she got her eye brows done one was slightly higher than the other.  She decides she’ll just mention that to her second BFF instead.  Maybe she can tell her.

While setting the table, her husband, Mario Andretti, comes home.

“How is everything dear?” Mario asks.

“It’s wonderful!  Everything is UNDER CONTROL!” She positively beams.

“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough-” Mario Andretti