I'm a married man, and a salesman for a large mechanics company. My job requires me to be out of town every week, sometimes for multiple weeks at a time without trips home. This is not merely a stint, here and there. This is what I do, 365 days a year, minus a couple weeks' vacation.

I live for the vacation. And the sights. Oh, the sights! So many wonderful places! So much... opportunity!

This is my career. I'm working toward an early retirement, and the longer I stay with this company, the sooner I can retire. So I'm in this for the long haul. In a decade or so, I will have moved up to a supervisory position, so by then I'll be working from 'home base' more often than not. Only then, I'll have to be at the office sixty, sometimes seventy hours, in order to outperform those who'll be competing for my position. It's a fiercely competitive market, you know. And once you start getting upwards in age, those young whipper-snappers start biting at your heels, with all their energy, fresh insight, and thousands less in compensation expectations. I can't let them steal my job. I've got to get ahead. I've got to outperform. My career's on the line.

Oh wait... did I mention I was married? That I have a wife? Yeah... Right, a wife. She works too, during the day. At night, she's alone. Fortunately, she has lots of hobbies to keep her busy... to keep her mind off of the fact that I'm rarely there with her. Don't worry, I call her after I'm home from work and dinner, right before I hit the sack and start things all over again tomorrow. I'm exhausted, and I know that if I don't get a decent night's rest, tomorrow's going to be hell.

My wife is elated when she hears the phone ring. She quickly snatches it. She has not let it out of her sight in the anticipation of my call. "Hi honey, I'm so glad it's you!" She'd been waiting all day just to talk to me. "Oh honey, you won't believe everything that happened today. First... Then... Oh, and then... Oh, I wish you coulda been here. It was so great! I really miss you. You miss me too, of course. Don't you?"

"Uh... OH, absolutely! I miss you so much." (sigh)

I didn't hear a word she said. I was so tired, looking forward to my slumber. And work... I can't get it off my mind. That client... I hope I didn't blow my presentation. Maybe I should tweak it. Nah, it probably needs an overhaul. I'll work on that this weekend. "Oh, yes honey, I love you too... Goodnight. I'll talk to you tomorrow night. Take care."

I send her flowers on her birthday, Mother's Day, and Valentine's Day. I mail her the paychecks, and she has enough to buy all the pretty things women like to buy. I have enough to make the payment on my Porsche, and our half-a-million-dollar shack.

We're extremely happy, as you can obviously tell. Because we are married! Wow-ee! Isn't that great?! On occasion, I write her love songs and sing them to her... beautiful ones. And poetry. Oh, the poetry! She just soaks them in, like salve on her open wounds. Ahh... like cool salve.

I'm not there. I'm two-dimensional--sometimes one. She wants a three-dimensional husband. What's up with that? You wouldn't believe it... She wants me to be there with her. She says we don't spend enough time together. What... as if calling her EVERY DAY isn't enough? Her love songs, poems and flowers aren't enough? The massive paychecks... not enough? She wants me, and not what I have to give to her or do for her? Time? Who has time? Her love language is time?

What... not you too! Jesus? You're kidding me. You mean all the work I'm doing for you, all the tithes and offerings I'm giving you, all the praise songs I'm writing and singing for you... they... aren't enough? Oh, whew... you like them. But they aren't what you're most concerned about? What do you mean, time? With you... but Jesus, you are with me... of course I'm with you! Huh? Even when you're with me, I'm not with you? But I talk to you several times a week! And I read your love letters...gosh...must be at least weekly. And church... come on! I go to church...

Abide? Whaaat?


Oh, nevermind. I'm too tired to think about that right now. It's midnight, for crying out loud!

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