Milwaukee OnLine Journal Of Social Enterprise

Recovering Egomaniac

I keep coming back to a stark realization,
compelled by circumstances to acknowledge
a fundamental flaw in my character, and
not just mine, but a seemingly universal trait:
the ‘default setting’ for my basic concerns
covers the spectrum from me, to myself, to I.

It’s like I’m living in a pre-Copernican cosmos,
still believing that the sun revolves around the earth…
and not just believing it, but acting as if that’s the case,
or at least, certainly should be.

Shouldn’t my whims and impulses,
my desires and needs,
my priorities and compulsions
be the most important things in the world?!

What a ridiculous question!!
Damn right they should!!!
Or so goes my assumption.

Of course, in the real world this means
I’m often bumping up against other egomaniacs
who have their own version of this melodrama running,
starring, naturally, themselves, with no interest whatsoever
in casting someone else in that coveted leading role.

Now and then, I bump so hard into someone else, or
some situation involving others, that I’m forced by
my pain to take a close look at what’s going on, and
do some personal therapy, perhaps in the form of
reading from a book called ‘When Things Fall Apart,’
doing some informal rehab, some meditation,
extra-hard swim workouts, more t’ai chi,
talking things over with a friend,
writing a poem, making up a song,
playing my trumpet all night long,
whatever it takes to get halfway sane again.

That particular crisis weathered, I tend to slide back
into good ol’ egomaniac mode, perhaps a little more
subtle version, ‘til the next time…
and there’s always a next time.

I’m long overdue to realize that
I’ve got to ‘stay on my program’
permanently, as is the case with
any other addict who’s serious about
recovery, for, ego is the real heroin,
crack, alcohol, nicotine, and obviously,
I’m seriously addicted to ‘me’

—Harvey Taylor
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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on April 17, 2008

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