Worn Out From Doing “Hard Labor,” and Not Just at Work
It had been eleven years that I had been married. We had moved on my wife’s whim to her hometown and then had to move back when her mom got a little too nosy.
So my life was like the opening of A Tale of Two Cities “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” When we moved to Greensboro, NC we had been planning the move for several months. After we got to the city I signed with a temp company that had me work right away. Unfortunately, it wasn’t machinist work but I could swing the rent and the company had promised to get me a machine shop job soon.
One of the funny things was that I was running a tiny label printing machine printing price tags for some company called Target. At that time it was a unknown company from the mid or far West. Later it would expand greatly eastward becoming one of my favorite places to shop. After a couple of weeks I was sent to one of the largest machine shops in the region. It was really huge; the company made metal working equipment that could take sheets of metal twenty feet wide. I was running a couple of CNC lathes behind the main line machines. After a couple of days they started talking about giving me $18 an hour; something I’ve never made. When you consider that some of the machinists were making over $30 an hour it was not unreasonable. At the same time I was working on my own development. I was talking to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro about taking classes in a Masters of Counseling degree. I was getting tired of being a duck out of water.
The job was a dream job. I was doing job machining; I would be handed a blueprint from somewhere in the world and it told me what I needed to know. The print had the part specs and the number of parts needed. I was sometimes working in a (+/- 0.00005) plus or minus five ten-millionths of an inch; a closer range than car engine parts! But then, some of the parts I was making were for machines that made car parts, that was my “little” lathe. My other lathe made “big” parts, yeah some of the rough casting were thirty pounds, but I was working beside a milling machine that had a table to put parts on that was 75 feet long and 10 feet wide. So yeah a thirty pound rough casting was big compared to rod stock no bigger than a pencil but the part being worked on in front of me could literally be the size of a bus.
An additional treat for me is that I am fascinated by all of the different types of scripts that are used around the world to communicate. In fact one of my most precious things is a book on Cyrillic calligraphy that a friend that I exchanged novels with for a while sent me. So every time I got a new blueprint it was a delight. Sometimes just noticing which forms of metric the country used would put a smile on my face. Many people don’t realize that there are at least four or five metric standards around the world. Since I didn’t have the opportunity to look at any prints from the Soviet bloc countries I can’t comment on their standards.
Imagine my shock when I came home one day and my wife informed me that we had to move back to Asheville. Apparently my mother-in-law had almost caught the wife having sex with one of her lovers. My wife had been having lovers a few months after we married. After we moved to my first job as a O&M Specialist she started hanging out with some neighbors during the day and she said that she did it because I refused to smoke pot or drink much being aware that I was being watched. Only someone that was profoundly stupid would assume anything else. After all I was working with kids in a K-12 situation. Once we moved from the apartments to a house she broke down and told me that she had been having an affair with the guy in the house beside ours.
Being extremely secure in my self-image I said so what it’s just sex. I just couldn’t conceive of the type of person I was dealing with because she was as insecure as I was secure. By the time we moved to Greensboro she had introduced me to twelve but she could have had thirty or forty notches in her bedpost. I would later realize that in addition to the bad genes in her family for mental health being an incest survivor had turned her into a sex addict.
When we moved back to Asheville she naturally called all of her old lovers and told them we had returned.
Because I had been off the market for several months I had to register with several agencies to get work.
However, the work was so spotty that I was also selling blood plasma to buy food at times. I must have sold four or five gallons of plasma at this time. When you consider that they were taking a liter at each “donation” and you can do two donations a week.
There were no machine shop jobs; and it was always the worst jobs. One of those jobs was loading boxcars at a blanket factory. When the track had been laid beside one of the warehouses it was about ten inches too far away from the warehouse door to use a dock board to span the gap. So when the rare orders would come in for boxcar loads of blankets the plant would hire temps for a few days. The job never lasted more than two weeks. Later when I started working as a cook and one of the “kids” would complain about hard work I would laugh and tell them they had no idea what hard work was about. I would come home so tired that I could barely drive. Several times I wondered how I made it. I would walk through the door and fall on the bed and sleep while my wife made supper. Then after eating I would go back to bed. The only time this changed was when I had gotten dirty from sweating around dust; and then I would shower and collapse.
So I had been working and was really beat and the wife comes in and climbed in bed with me fresh from a shower. We had moved a bunch of very dusty boxes that day so I came home not just dirty but crusty. When she started to demand sex I kept trying to push her away. By she kept talking about how we hadn’t had sex for four or five days. “So why don’t you call Fred or one of the other guys, I’m exhausted.” Nope, she started to give me head to get me hard. The body is a machine and she knew how to stimulate me to get what she wanted. I was just a thing to be used and thrown away. So she mounted me and rode me till she came. As she slid off she laughed, ”See I knew you would love it.” How many times have I heard that from women at the spouse abuse shelters?
Thankfully the next week I was building huge crates at a pallet factory; it wasn’t as bad. Although watching my finger jump as I shot a two and a half inch staple through it was unnerving. The boards I was stapling had a taper that I didn’t notice. Yeah, I was tired. Hard work does that to you.
About a month later my wife told me to get out, that the marriage wasn’t working. I have never heard such beautiful words; my time in hell was over!
Previously published at Love’s Notes – A view from the Trenches at lovesnotes21.blogspot.com
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons