“You should not believe in me, cause’ when everybody loves you, man that’s just about as fucked up as you can be” Adam DuritzCounting Crows

A comment landed in my Spam folder today; one of unknown origins. It was from what the administrators of my Blog, and other Blogs as well I suppose, deem “followers” an unfortunate term I heartily dislike. Better if they were designated “auditors” to take the cult of personality stink off the distinction.

It said simply “you are a very intelligent person”. I quickly un-spammed it and sent thanks to the author. Just as quickly I had a vision of Michael Jackson opting for a turkey sandwich and a glass of warm milk instead of the needle and the propofol; and then Elvis selecting an Ex-Lax tablet instead of grunting and buying the farm on the crapper. Whitney Huston also came to mind. And so, not altogether happy about it, I just as quickly permanently deleted the message. Too much can do us in as quickly as too little.

My Muse told me yesterday that she’d like to know more about my last Muse who she affectionately called “that woman who sucked you dry”. I missed a couple of good one liner comebacks surrounding the sucking dry comment and missed the chance to say “me too”, meaning I like to know more about her as well. I wasn’t as clever as I’d hoped but being too cute by half is a passing fancy.

We all ought to have someone who tells us how our inherent perfection beams through and makes the world a better place but too much praise can easily turn from sweet to sour when we begin to buy the accolades. The two kings; one of Rock and Roll and one of Pop bought it like mother milk and never let go of the tit and we see how that ended; more recently the queen of ballads went similarly.

We’re all susceptible. That’s why I kept my old Muse around long after she inspired me. Why would you continue to sign up for being knocked down when what we crave is to be built up. Some questions, the best ones, answer themselves. She never blows fairy dust up my ass and conversely I always could and still can depend on her to remind me I’m just like everybody else; no better, no worse.

As far back as the Roman Empire, Pages were sent to stand behind returning generals in their chariots, freshly victorious from world conquests, to whisper in their ear as the crowd’s chanted praise; “all glory is fleeting”. Those that have the courage to keep us humble are valuable allies and true friends even when they make us crazy trying to win their approval.

Each of us gets passed the baton from time to time; that moment when everyone turns to us and asks what we should do next. Each of us has in our time that epiphany; that prescient moment of clarity when we hold forth some solution anchored in an ancient truth; that fifteen seconds Andy Warhol gushed about. Best not to dismiss any advice too soon, remembering what Einstein said; “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it”.

Figuring out how we are meant to live is a team sport and every player at any time who’s still in the game can score. Thinking wrongly that any one of us is any better than the next is folly and leads us to follow; not the idea or the solution, but the seeming genius of the person, who, same as us, simply had his turn at the lectern.


About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

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