Something in me aches
For a smile
On the face of every stranger
On the lips of every loved one
From every colleague and acquaintance,
As though all the world’s peoples
Were extras in my screenplay
NPCs* in my video game
Spectators and cheerleaders on my sidelines-
Always seeing things my way
Always ready to play their part
Of the grateful participant
In my charming story.
Needing to be liked
In every setting
Is not a good motivator for kindness
Is not a kind of humility
And is not even about others-
It is an obsession with a version of my story
That never rubs anyone
The wrong way.
A fear of being known as a disappointment.
Might keep me from violence against others
Or from obvious acts of negligence
But it certainly causes an impediment to
The things I’m truly after:
And most importantly,
*NPCs stands for Non-Player Characters in video games.