I Am the Center of the Universe (Right?)

Every once in a while I find myself feeling a little needy; not quite special enough; not quite tended to; not quite important enough. I wonder why the small band of people who are my friends and family aren’t doing more to take care of me, more to encourage, support, appreciate and validate my existence, if not my awesomeness. I wonder why they are so wrapped up in their so-called “busy” lives with their commitments, careers, families, passions, heartaches, headaches, losses, goals, joys and dreams that they can’t take the 5 minutes it requires to remind me of the gift I am to the world. (Seriously, what the hell is with them anyway?).

It’s a little embarrassing to write this as I’m sure no one else ever feels this way. But, on the off chance that you, or someone close to you ever has one of these moments, this poem may be of use.

We who are

your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
frustration
discontent and
torture
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
association
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.

– Phillip Lopate –

© 2010 David Berry

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