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Selfish

November 19, 2018

selfie

Selfish. Not a label I have ever wanted to own. I’ll own it. Certainly it’s a label that has to be resonating with more of us today than ever before. We’re all selfish. Ego controls us. Think selfie. Our smart phones own us.

If I can be rested from my self-induced, self-prescribed existence or being and smart phone, it would literally require an act of God.

It’s alarming to me, an ordinary human, that the extraordinary, often sensational, often impersonal, even detached, surreal moments become my perception of reality. I would never experience these moments without this new reality, the internet and the advent of social media.

How can us ordinary humans, moms, dads, teachers, business and spiritual leaders compete with this new reality? Self-awareness maybe the one thing I can do to improve selflessness. If you can listen to your inner self maybe you can do a better job of listening to someone else. It could make me a better person. Good luck with that!

Case in point, calling someone selfless is a huge compliment. There may be people that commit selfless acts but who do you know that can be described as selfless? Rare indeed. Did I mention self-effacing? To the point, I wrote Lonely Man in one of those pity me moments. It’s called self-promoting!

Lonely Man

Lonely man, you know who I am. 
You’re a labor of love, hand and glove. 
If you ever want to shoot for the moon,
You’ll need to bring your own silver spoon. 

Your drink is empty, nothing’s on the table.  
Miguel your waiter, sells only by the label. 
So you dance to music that never ends,
And toast bartender Mike, your new best friend. 

You’re anybody who has a story.
You’re the blood and guts, but no glory. 
You’re the play that’s no longer afloat. 
You’re the poem, you never wrote.

Lonely man, you know who I am.  
You’re a labor of love, hand and glove.
Johnny Cochran’s not your deal.
You’ll never win on your appeal. 

You’re the crowd in every room. 
The conversation that always spells doom. 
You’re the fly that’s always unzipped,
The greeting card, that’s always skipped. 

You’ve become the sweat on everyone’s brow. 
You’re the answer to, “No, not now!” 
You’re the best friend you’ll never have. 
You’re the rub, without the salve.

Lonely man, you know who I am. 
Labor of love, fit hand and glove. 
Win the lottery prize in your office pool? 
What are the odds you’ve played the fool!

You’re someone’s smile, without a face. 
You’re the awkward in an embrace.
You’re the gaze behind an empty stare. 
You’re the voice that isn’t there. 

You’re the cold pavement under bare feet. 
You’re the toothless grin that never eats.
So when you dare ask for a slice of life,
You’re the one to brandish a knife. 

And when your chapter is finally read,
You already know what’s been said.
Lonely man, you know who I am, 
Dance to music that never ends.

I originally wrote Lonely Man for a Montel Williams Poetry Contest for MS charity because I have a sister with MS. I think “Lonely Man” epitomizes how many of us feel from time to time. At the same time it pokes some fun at those same self-effacing feelings.

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