Relationship Blues
Relationship Blues
Perfect Bound Softcover
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Relationship--clearly the most thoroughly discussed term in our contemporary lexicon--morphs into a tangible presence from a composite of all the real and imagined behavior we have assigned it. This story allows us to look through the Relationship's eyes at both sides of the gender gulf, as it ploughs through the middle--experiencing the disappointment, heartbreak, and hilarity, of our relentless trek, while attempting to retain a core of its own self.

Feeling rejected at being bounced from one couple to another, the Relationship executes a colorful and thought provoking romp through the confusing ritual that currently drives our exhausted engines of comprehension.

This Relationship is spunky--cunning--clever--clinging--obsessive--endearing--painful--vulnerable--destructive, and available. Love it or leave it, but you will never hear, or encounter the term relationship again without thinking of this special one. And oh yes, it wants to come and live with you.

The Relationship and, Honey, the Fixer Upper of all things

Saturdays were tough for Honey since Harold left. She wondered if she should have tried to talk him out of the temporary split--keep him close by, so that they could work on the Relationship together. She was afraid that temporary might stretch into permanent and there would be no way of getting him back.

The Relationship, seated in a corner of the plush, mauve, sofa--facing the bookshelf and fireplace--in Honey's comfortable townhouse, stretched its little legs along the surface and crossed them at the ankles. The tiny appendages were too short to hang over the edge and reach the floor. It sat there scoping out the situation and gauging the options--agonizing over the ridiculous role it had no part in creating. It felt trapped and slightly bitter--slowly drifting down to wallow in self pity. Thinking back--thinking forward--light and heavy--fighting the debilitating plague of humble beginingitis.

The Relationship and, Harold, the Dream Writer

Harold felt like a walking scoreboard where everything in his life flashed on a large screen indicating his level of performance as judged by contemporary cultural flacks. He felt even more concern for Honey, whose natural inclination to give her heart freely had begun to pull back as the voices of the gender bender's conflicting rhetoric began to assert mental and emotional restraining straps on her innocent spontaneity.

Harold despised the whole banality of the battle of the sexes. Surely they were both worth preserving in some kind of harmony instead of the crippling sniping carried on between the two armed camps. He wished for a place where men and women could love wholeheartedly without an audience or a scorekeeper--without Relationships, or commitment creeps throwing their weight around. Damn that Relationship. Damn that "C" word. Damn the crummy society that put its big, fat foot on his throat.

The Relationship with Laura and the Dichotomy Painting

The Relationship squinted its eyes and peeked through its little fingers at the mysterious canvas--and shivered. The painting was a compelling depiction of a contemporary enigma. The canvas revealed a white laminated drafting table with an attached, black metal, flex lamp on one side--its beam focussed on drawing materials and calibrating instruments carefully arranged on the flat surface.

The scooped out leading edge of the table, designed to hold pens and pencils, currently doubled as a clothing rack, supporting a row of hangers draped with freshly laundered blouses and shirts.

The Wealthy Twosome with Connections

And there they were--the mega industrial titan--real estate magnate--Larry Lamp, Lawrence, or Lawless as some called him, whose light shone on his vast international holdings on every day--and his latest adornment, a full size Barbie in a doll size dress, standing in front of the "Dichotomy," looking intently at the canvas, as if they could grasp the meaning--and if they did, would they care about the subject? The Relationship knew they hadn't arrived at the pinnacle of success, as it was currently defined, by wasting time contemplating the inequality of life. That was for slow people--dreamers, like Harold, Honey, and Laura, who slogged along trying to fix things that weren't broke.

The Relationship and the Doyenne of Day Time Talk

As the cameras panned around the room and settled on the Talk Show Host/Personality, the studio audience appeared to be in a receptive mood. A warm and welcoming, round of applause greeted her. Seated on the stage of the Greatest Show on Earth, its small frame nearly lost in the guest chair, the Relationship rested its right foot on its left knee--posing a relaxed yet commanding demeanor. It smiled and grinned, turning from side to side reflecting in its long sought after High Self Esteem, which beamed out from every make-up polished pore--frequently nodding its head in the televangelical mode of affirmation of its elevated state--a move it had found immensely disarming in doing deals.

Joyce Payne is a writer whose work has frequently appeared in the Chicago Sunday Tribune. An advertising copywriter with national accounts, she received the annual award from the Mail Advertising Club of Chicago. Through a series of newspaper columns, the Relationship made its first appearance and began a life of its own.

Mother of four grown children, Joyce, currently resides with her husband and dogs atop a high ridge overlooking vast mountain ranges and valleys, where the coyotes howl and the wind blows free.


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Perfect Bound Softcover
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