My Pet Nasty
by tobias crabtree
I admire the quiet ones, the ones that don’t seem to care if they’re noticed. I have a few friends that stand and listen and smile at the things I am saying. I can be such a rager, but these folks have found a way to weather the storm, wait for the bravado to pass, and still be my friend. The quiet ones wait. They don’t pop the lock when feelings are pushing at the gate, because it’s in those moments when words run amok.
If babies had a full vocabulary at birth, I believe we would have a whole different perception of mankind. There is no sorrow or fury like that of a child. At least you can say that a baby’s not faking it. And when they fake it, they fake it with all their heart. The little ones make no bones about it, they want only and all of what they want.
Whenever I catch myself starting to exaggerate, I know that I’m talking too much. I know that, for one reason or another, I’m feeling inadequate. The person that I am is acting out and wanting more room inside the mind or minds of the people that I’m exaggerating to. I am unabashedly begging for attention. There are several reasons for why I might embellish reality but they all point back to me. I guess I could say it’s my ego, but whenever I talk about my ego I feel like I’m talking about something separate from me. Like my ego is a naughty little pet that is performing deeds without my permission. Have you ever heard folks talk about themselves in third person? “Oh, Tobias don’t like that kind of thing at all! That’ll just set Tobias off!” It really is a way of allowing yourself to behave a certain way but not lay claim to it. “Aw man, my ego acted up last night. Sure hope it didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings.” So I’ve been trading the word ego for a personal pronoun, Me. Come to find out, I’m my ego. Damn. Yeah, so it’s not my naughty little pet that did that, it’s me. And I’ll just go ahead and say it, sometimes I want attention just because. It’s pathetic. I don’t want to be blatantly adored, but adored nonetheless. I want my friends to admire what I do and how I do it. I think it’s a part of being a human animal: to desire to be needed and loved and admired. Exaggeration is just a lazy way of creating admiration, it’s creative but it lacks substance. It’s what I think I need to be without actually being it.
I guess the best way to be needed and loved is to be real. And being real will sort out who your friends are and are not. It will also force you to evaluate your actions. It will temper your selfishness with lovingkindness. In some cases, it will make you more lonely. Being a human is tricky. Life is all about dynamic adjustments. It does seem like we humans are masters at making things more complex than they need to be. Lies are complications. Truth is patient and solid and simple. It’s me that is a work in progress, Me, not my pet ego. It’s me that loves the friends that endure all my rantings and ravings. Tobias is working on himself and we’re pretty sure he’s gonna be ok. He’s got good friends and sometimes they call him out on things, and he’s ok with that. He’s a lucky dude.