Enough with all of the melancholy diatribes. Although a defining factor of my personality, depression is not the sum total of who I am. There are also good things about me, or so I have been told. I’m sorry for putting all of you through my open-book therapy sessions, although I do manage to sneak some decent sentences in there from time to time, so I suppose even the darkness serves its purpose, if only to give depth and value to the light. It’s quite easy to fall into a cycle of self-hatred, and that dead horse is quite good for the beating which I’ve gotten quite adept at giving, but that’s only a part of who I am, specifically, the part of me with so little self-esteem that it verges on unadulterated self-despite. But I’m also in possession of a mighty ego, and while that by itself is not much better than the other, it is at least a springboard into the possibility of writing something that’s not so completely dour and vitriolic towards myself that it is known to the State of California to cause cancer (along with almost everything else). I think that it’s about time to try to say something nice about myself, or at least address why have a such a hard time taking a simple compliment.

Apparently, there are people in this world that have been under the delusion that I am attractive. I am willing to concede that when I am in a particularly viscerally vulnerable and self-destructive mood, I have been known to be quite charming. I would argue the point, but it has been well documented, and I have had more than the sum total of zero girlfriends in my day, so I am faced with no alternative but to admit (mostly to myself) that there must be something that isn’t completely repelling about me, at least in a certain light. But even that is not really what I’m getting at. I know that it is difficult to believe, but there are apparently people in the world who think that I am physically attractive. I literally do not understand this. I am fat. I am constantly scowling. My teeth resemble buttered popcorn more than ivory, and I carry the constant aroma of cigarettes about me like whatever the opposite of an Invisibility Cloak would be, but for one’s olfactory array. Also, I am bald. I know that’s a sign of virility, that I am literally too much man (fat joke!) to be burdened by the more pedestrian trappings of hair care products. On the other hand, I’m easily doing my part to fight the drought in California by taking such quick showers. If I was someone other than myself, I don’t know that I would “think of me like that.” You heard it here, folks: Even in the hypothetical, I have friendzoned myself.

Stop, Tex. You’re slipping back into self-critical humor.

Right. Sorry.

I mean, I have made strides since I was but a lad, in trying to make myself a better man. And there is something quite alluring about self-confidence, which falls into the bailiwick of ego (Great name for Cartwheels Into Oblivion’s first album: The Bailiwick of Ego). Not that this is truly a pressing concern of mine, but the fact is that everyone wants to feel beautiful. Even if you have someone who tells you every single day, that’s still a tiny sample size, and hardly representative of society at large. Sometimes it’s just nice for someone to smile at you for no other reason than they’re imaging the nasty things they’d like to do with/to you. Again, it’s not that I am looking for a dinghy, just that it’s a real boost to see the sparkle in someone else’s eyes. As a man, I have been led to believe that stoicism is the spice of life, and showing emotions (other than manly things, like rage) is something I should never do. Being beautiful in someone’s eyes is foolish; having compliments bestowed upon you is the most shameful of occurrences. Do I try to make myself attractive? Not really. Most of the time I just don’t give a damn. If the beauty standards were reversed, I still don’t think that I’d be caught dead painting myself just to catch a passing glance (please discount those years when I was younger and smoked clove cigarettes and wore black lipstick and nails- that had more to do with how deeply into the trappings of the Goth life I had fallen, and less to do with anything remotely beautifying).

am funny, though. I don’t know that you would necessarily believe it, if you only know me from my written words, but I’m not entirely composed of sadness and grumpy faces. I’ve been known to make some people laugh. On purpose. And as much as I want to say that I’m only good for blurting out exactly the wrong thing, I’m also pretty talented at saying things which people need to hear, at least, according to my ego. I am much more likely to try to build a person up, than to hold them tight on their way down (assuming, that is, that I was the one to topple them). Aside from a very few exceptions, it makes me happy to bring happiness to others. I like to catch someone off guard and goad them into smiling. It makes my day to brighten someone else’s dour demeanor, or use their own momentum to lift them even higher.

Of course, I don’t subscribe to a philosophy of moderation. Once I have forged a connection with someone, it’s hard for me to play it cool, and I think that I end up frightening them away. Those friends of mine who still remain, have seen me at my worst, my neediest, and clingy, and yet they somehow think that I am worth all of that trouble. Tex Batmart: Xtreme(!) Friend!

There: did I say some nice things about myself, and put everyone at ease? I guess that the moral of the story is… Oh, what the hell, I’ve literally no idea. Hang in there? I’m probably worth the trouble? I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine.

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