I am Yin


I was born in the year of the Fire Rooster, according to the Chinese calendar. I am supposed to be perverse, and loudmouthed, and angry, and constantly bragging.



I suppose I am all of these things. I think medication has helped me keep my brassier character traits to a bearable minimum.



But often I find myself portraying: the caretaker. The mother. The receiver. The encourager.



In short: I am Yin.



Not long ago, we had a kind of Cleaning Day in the office. I was actually in charge of it. This was intensely difficult for me, because I hoard everything. People come to me for everything: aspirin, shovels, Swiffers, signatures, official forms. I peacefully receive and store (or stack, or just sort of throw aside) things of all descriptions.



So I watched people throwing things away, and once in a while I’d dart in, unseen, shrouded in occult darkness, and snatch up the things they were throwing away.



Because you just never know when a cookie sheet, or a teddy bear, or a leatherette luggage tag, might be really useful.



Flickering through my head all day was a Simpsons line, spoken by Mr. Burns: “Smithers, once again you have been the soothing Yin to my furious Yang.”



Let me tell you something: the Yang of the world is furious indeed.



But I do my best to cool it.



And the most encouraging thing happened recently:



My student assistant Noah, a huge varsity football player, overheard me tell someone that I was Yin. He rose to his feet, and let me tell you, he is impressive when he stands up. And he said, not loudly, but firmly: “You listen to him! He’s Yin! And he’s my boss! So you better listen to what he says!”



And I said, peacefully and in a very Yin manner, to my colleague: “You see? I’m Yin. And I have a bodyguard. So huh.”



You see?



I am Yin, the gentle and receptive.



Do as I say, or  I will have Noah muss you up.



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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