Part 2 of 30
My Fragile Self-Esteem
What about you? Did you ever get one of those childhoods where anything that could go wrong did go wrong? And it ended up doing a number on your whole personality, to the point that on a good day you’re still a big fat zero? I see a few sad hands. This month we’re touching on these unfortunately common issues of fragile self-esteem. And that's the proper way of saying it, as editor-in-chief here, although I realize all too well that “Misery adores company.” But if it weren’t for my fellow-sufferers, probably no one would believe the things to come. Our dismal past exposed to a disbelieving, disapproving public!
Of course I should know quite a bit about it, and I could even be called one of the foremost experts on it. I think that’s true, at least, and I’m flattered if you think it too. But the story could be told as well by my sworn enemies, wherever they are, those who tormented me beyond all sense. And yet I’m willing to concede they perhaps had good reasons, even if they were only reasons of their own. The degree to which indeed I was "squirrelly" hasn't been conclusively proven. But certainly they know who they are, to the extent that I’m that memorable, and it’s not hard to imagine that wherever they are they’ve made a success of their lives. Perhaps as prison guards, mafia hit-men, factory foremen, professional wrestlers, or gym teachers.
I know this much, I’m certainly not going to look up any of them. And I’ve avoided class reunions for this reason. Because anywhere there’s a punch bowl there’s a potential drowning. And I’ve managed somehow -- a guy hypnotized me at the shopping center once, about the time I took Abraham Lincoln as my personal spirit animal -- to live a semi-proud life, semi-proud of myself for respecting myself enough to sit up and take nourishment. Today I had my usual bowl of plain oatmeal, and just because my fragile self-esteem is such a vital part of my outlook, two pieces of burnt toast with butter past the expiration date.
Some of you may have sympathy for me. I'm proud to have your sympathy, because that lets me know that in a rough and tumble world there are still good people. So let me confer a few blessings your way. "This reader, among my best friends, knows a sad sack story when he or she hears it. May he or she be free of all bullies, evil-doers, letchs, trolls, souped-up athletes, gym teachers, prison guards, towel snappers, and extortionists. Let his or her self-esteem be up there with the immortals, who know the glory of righteous suffering but wouldn’t inflict unnecessary pain on a fly, killing them, yes, because we’re trying to avoid the next global plague, but quickly and with mercy."
Did I do the pledge yet? Looks like I didn't: “I pledge destruction to fragile self-esteem, and to the mental conditions from which it thrives, one person, under valued, too divided, with happiness and private showers for all.” Now, c’mon, guys, get me off this damned nail!