Lately, it has come to my attention that I have, over the course of my fairly long and completely stupid life, constantly envisioned myself to be grander, wiser, more successful, and less of a boob than I actually am.
And I’m starting to think I should be concerned about it.
Those of you who’ve read my first book know that the image problems started around age eight – the year when I first began pretending to be Endora from Bewitched. Now, given my youth at the time, my stunning dearth of friends, a virtual cavalcade of bullies, and my mother (enough said), this particular detour through Crazytown could probably be written off as only slightly disturbing.
But it continued. As a teen and young adult, I was constantly imagining myself as various celebrities – from music superstars to fashion icons to authors. And while knowing where all the swells in applause were on the Liza Minnelli Live at Carnegie Hall album – so I could grandly sweep from the hallway (backstage) into the living room (onstage) to take my bows – might be considered a tad disquieting in a sixteen-year-old, they were downright alarming when I was old enough to knock back a whisky sour.
And now, as a middle-aged man, they have, apparently, worsened. What was once (according to a therapist) an unconscious device to help me cope with alienation and discover my place in the world has now ballooned into what appears to be Dial 911-level psychosis. To the consternation of those around me, I now imagine myself to be Oprah – albeit a tall, gawky, deeply un-tan facsimile.
Of course, I’m not completely insane. Although my best friend Kirk does call himself Gayle, I am relatively certain that I am neither female, nor black, nor beloved. Yet I do believe that I have a life path similar to Oprah’s. Maybe I’m not supposed to spring free houses on deserving people, or pay for the secondary educations of 68,000 kids, or haul my fat out in a Radio Flyer on TV. But I do sorta think I’m supposed to encourage mankind to be their best selves, by simply sharing the ludicrous things I do and the lessons I glean when it all comes crashing down around me.
So, is this crazy? Should I be concerned?
For now, I think I’m just gonna keep on doing it and hope for the best. I figure that as long as I don’t start signing letters with a Big “O” or yelling at the president of Hermes when they won’t let me in after closing, I’m golden.