The Selfishness of Self Itself

I think there’s a complex that comes with being an only child. It is a sort of selfishness, yes, but not the sort of selfishness that most accuse us of. It does not lie in my possessions or my ability to share. I love to share; give everything away. It’s a selfishness of self itself. I used to wish my parents had had more children while I was growing up, not because I wanted anything to do with these children but because I needed a distraction for their attention. A bone to throw to the lions. I wished for a moment that belonged to me and not to the expectation that lies in being the only hope of a name generation that ends in me. I joke with my parents, tell them they should have diversified their options. Eventually I cut them off; from my future, from a part in the decision. And so this style of selfishness winds its toxic tactile members into other areas of my life. I cannot cede this autonomy, cannot become what others, what somebody might depend on – not fully. I am unreliable, erratic, chaotic in my tidal emotions that reach out for others and immediately dismiss connections. I cling to lovers that diversify, admire their ability to share. It’s smart. I’ve stood on a pedestal before and I could not bear the weight of more than myself. I am my own most important, dysfunctional relationship, and I can hardly handle this. I’d rather roll in the dirt, alone, crawling towards some too-distant destination that leads on hope. I would say that true love has bitten once or twice, but regular love weaves its way under my skin at least thrice a day, becomes a game. How long can I play two roles, three, four? I’m very good at fulfilling needs, but mine always seem to be some sort of wicked intimation. Unspoken, unmet, perhaps too messy for real life. I quickly find myself asking “what do you want from me?” I just want to appreciate this moment. How people grasp so fiercely at the present as if they can halt its escape into the past. I want what’s new; miracle grow for the soul. My life composed entirely of firsts. I want to love again and again and again. Most of all, I want to love myself. But I’m starting to wonder if you can do this by yourself. I can’t be the only person in the world with this overwhelming desire; somebody who can be new every day, who can run and return and ride these ebbing waves that continue to destroy our perfect footprints in the sand, who can be consistently and contently dissatisfied. I might part with a small sense of autonomy for a simple feeling of understanding. I would devote myself to instability, give my soul to inconsistency, sacrifice my very self for a tangential consort – one that would never seek to consult, but whose ardor comes and goes of its own accord. And so we would see where they meet in the middle, and never fail to be surprised when they do; and always revel in the extremity of its momentary need. This I would call the perfection of mutual outrecuidance. So far, a myth. But, as history proves, all myths are based off a grain of truth.

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