Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”Henry Kissinger

I haven’t seen snow in 50 years. So when at 18 degrees, the coldest day so far this year, billions of no two look-alike kaleidoscopic flakes dusted the beauty that is rural northern Wisconsin in a whiter than white patina, I couldn’t wait to get out in it and pilot my rocket ride atop the surreal magic carpet blanket; slip sliding away.

I donned the gear I covet and have had lying in wait for just such an occasion; LL Bean arctic trek boots good to 25 below, wool mad bomber hat, snowmobile gloves and thermal long john’s; and displayed myself to my mom. While striking my best runway pose I delivered to her the iconic Will Smith line from “Men in Black. “You know the difference between me and them Mom”? What,  she answered half amused and half chagrined. Grinning I stated; “I make this look good”.

She playfully chastises me for being arrogant and pompous since she comes from a generation that felt showing off was bad form and dangerous since in her opinion one never tells others what they have; I suppose the theory goes, because they’ll try to take it from you. She also thinks I’m nuts to carry around the kind of bankroll I’m known for since “someone might try and steal it”. I always say cocky; “let them try, I need the exercise”. But her half secret smile uncovered the truth that she was pleased and proud down to the ground that I have evolved with a positive view of myself.

I was being immodest and only half serious since I’m aware of the wages of hubris. Actually I have mixed feelings about healthy self-esteem; like my x-landlord driving over a cliff; in my new Ferrari. I was engaging in humor for her benefit; cracking wise to transport her to a good mood to meet up with her 90th birthday; now just two weeks away. In truth I believe it’s a fine line between wholesome confidence and coming off as a horse’s ass; or worse, believing my hype.

I like to turn the big screen TV to CNN with the sound off and watch lots of iteration from frantic anchors; bloviating and gesticulating wildly for emphasis (they could be saying Nuke the Gay Whales for all I know) as the radio croon quality rock music. It’s strangely soothing while I work out at the gym seeking inspiration for my next Post. The provocatively named fiscal cliff seems to be the fool’s gold distraction candy theses days, just behind the tabloid rich fodder of four star generals and their mistresses, having relegated Benghazi to the back bench issue of the hour. Sex, it seems, captivates the Id more than death.

Personally I hope we power over that imaginary abyss like the Roadrunner cartoon at 100 MPH and hit with a comic SPLAT since it makes no difference to me and probably to you as well unless you’re still a trapped wage slave engaged in the game, which I am not, being one of Romney’s desultory and vilified 47% moochers. I’m not a NASCAR fan but like most I rarely turn away from a spectacular crash. The  immediate craze and mystery of pussy-gate, surrounding well scrubbed straight-laced military ego maniacs sporting un-cool fruit salad displays on their chests while they plummet from their prized perches; undone by unseemly peccadilloes and laid bare by unchecked hubris; is a story as old as the Greek tragedies.

Ego is a good thing, despite the doctrine of the terminally politically correct with the assumption that humility is the proper stance for those in power, and without it civilization would have been impossible.  So, I reject such nonsense and often answer charges directed at me from well-meaning comrades who chastise me for my rejection of this virtue; counseling me to be humble. I often answer with this retort; “those humble probably have a lot to be humble about”. In my view self-esteem is essential for dispelling the hesitating disease of self-doubt. Humility is a grand emotion in great men like Gandhi and King; but I’m far from either.

My guess is we’ll discover the affluent volunteer social secretary enabler groupie massaging the egos of the country’s status hungry iconic brass was nothing more than a highly placed madam pimp for the knuckle dragging military dictators. Men in power have always been able to charisma their way into liaisons with high-priced call girls ala Elliott Spitzer and the other fallen elite; especially those sporting uniforms that the girls find sexy. Achieving master of the universe props in any field of endeavor has always gifted the fortunate with the opportunity to procure sex, and damn near anything else of pleasure, no matter how unattractive they are otherwise.

It was Honest Abe, a recent pop culture fascination thanks to Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis, who famously opined Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”; and its an axiom I’m particularly enamored with. Power without character is heroin and most of society’s ills can be traced back to every man jack of us susceptible to intoxication with it and more times than not, as a result; coming off the rails.

It’s the Elvis, Michael Jackson syndrome; that phenomenon that makes habitual praise and glorifying worship turn us obsessive, irrational and addicted. The antidote to succumbing to untoward adoration is surrounding ourselves with those we knew before we achieved this negatively transforming personality sickness. The first thing some do once they’ve achieved prominence is to jettison anyone who reminds them of who they were when they were climbing the ladder and there lay the poison.

One of my favorite songwriters summed it up succinctly when he wrote “when everybody loves you; that’s just about as fucked up as you can be”. So if we ever catch the golden ring; best to keep those around who knew us before we became entitled. Because once astride the tiger; we may find it difficult to dismount.



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.

2 Responses to Prerogative

  1. Fantastic info and interestingly written. Keep up the good stuff!

  2. James Mcfarland says:

    7.9, started great, continuity issues, theme is understood, suggest rewrite with sentences to keep flow tight. Incredible vocabulary throughout

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: