Secret Pop

Jan 16, 2003


I always longed to be superlative. Whatever the endeavor. I always wanted to be the something-est. I think I still do. The sourest spots on my landscape today are those that do not afford me that opportunity. I think it would pain me to ever find my book at the top of a bestseller list or my song at the top of the charts. If only because of the inevitability of falling from that spot. I remember waking up at one point in my very early twenties and lamenting the realization that I would likely never be the youngest person ever to do anything at this point. Up until then, I had been the youngest member of a symphony orchestra, the youngest person at the office, the youngest person in the class. I still had a shot at prodigy status. And in the absence of that, I had always aimed to be the smartest or the most vivacious or the most splendid or the most effervescent. I wanted to give the most wonderful parties and write the most saveable letters and give the most extravagant gifts and tell the most enduring stories. If you were making a list, I wanted to be at the top of it. Whatever the list was for.

To have been unseated from such a slot has never been pleasant for me. And it has had a tendency to taint the very memory of a previous glory.

Maybe that's why I'm always catching myself rewriting my own history. Rearranging my impressions of things. Perhaps it's just a means of distracting me from the memory of catching various brass rings that have since gone a-tarnish or have disintegrated altogether. Why linger on the triumph of a victory that has turned. Never trust those carny folk, by the way. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those brass rings were never made of brass to begin with.

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