Slightly edited from a few years back. I like to think it’s worth a second look.


I wish you would praise me.  I wish you’d say I’m wise and wonderful, even when I’m not.  I want to believe I’m okay but I’m afraid.  I’m not sure.  I need to hear it from you.  Without your assurance, an irrational passion compels me to earn your approval.

Do you see how hard I work, the indecency I endure?  I’m an entertainer, promiscuous, a prostitute.  Bisexual, indiscriminate, nymphomaniac.  To feel loved I’ll sleep with anyone—well, crazy it sounds, almost anyone.  I accept insult, abuse, whatever it takes.  I don’t whimper or protest.  I love my work!

You have reason to be puzzled, amused, annoyed by my act.  When I play the four-year-old vamp in Mama’s dress; pull stupid stunts like a fifth-grade boy; trip over my feet like a Keystone Kop; beat up on myself like the Three Stooges, how bewildering I must seem.

Beneath the acts and disguises I’m fragile as a butterfly and exquisitely cautious.  If you ignore or scorn me, I’m crushed.  So, I play the whore, the clown, the fool.  I humor you, make you laugh.  I seduce, trick, beg, and bribe you.

Confusing, irrational, silly as I seem, I strive for your approval the only ways I know.  Please understand—while I rarely do—with all my incorrigible antics, with all my strength, with all my heart, I work to earn your approval.  Because it’s absolutely essential!

More than eight decades down the road, I remember what I knew before I “grew up,” before I learned to fear you.  Relationship, love, is all that matters.

Should I apologize?  You don’t know—or do you?

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