Tales of a Chirpy Ego

I’ve always had a chirpy, ‘never say die’ ego. An optimistic ego. An exuberant and robust ego. I’m chirping away merrily every day and I never seem to get tired of it. I seem to draw upon a boundless well of positivity. Ego-positivity, that is. Until today. Boy do I feel bad today! All the juice has run out and I’m all out of chirps. There is no chirp left in me. Not a single one. Shit do I feel bad…


‘Well you’re not such a chirpy, ‘never say die’ ego today then I see’, you observe tartly, secretly relieved. Or maybe not so secretly relieved! Everyone is happy when a chirpy ego shuts up, after all. Chirp, chirp, chirp/ chirp, chirp, chirp, all day long. The thought of it even appals me now – I appal myself. I feel embarrassed and humiliated on top of everything else. How could I have made such a tosser of myself, I wonder? For god’s sake, I’m nearly sixty now. You’d think I would have got some sense by now, wouldn’t you? It’s no wonder I feel humiliated.


I feel so bad. My body aches in a hundred different places. I didn’t even know I had a hundred different places to ache. I’m so frighteningly exhausted, even though I never actually do anything. I can’t think straight, I’m so tired. I just want to lie down and ignore everything. Ignore the pain too if I can. Ignore the heavy, dull, bleary weight of existence that is so palpably crushing me. Ignore the awful embarrassment and humiliation of being me.


It’s not that I ‘have’ an ego, of course. Chirpy or otherwise. And it definitely isn’t chirpy right now. No sir it isn’t. I mean, no sir I’m not. How did I end up having a life like this, I wonder? How did I get it so badly wrong? I don’t have an ego I am an ego and that’s worse, as I’m sure you can appreciate. There’s no hope for me there at all. I feel so demoralised, so de-motivated. I feel that I should punish myself for being so fraudulent, for being so bogus, but I know if I did that then that too would be fraudulent. I know that that too would be bogus. What a predicament to be in, huh? How do I get out of this one?


I am frightened by the thought of the ‘ego death’ – that’s what’s really behind all of this. That’s what the big issue is here. That’s the big bugbear. That is the reason for me being in such a state of abject fear all the time. Rather than undergo the ego death experience I am hanging onto the shreds of my life, such as they are. No matter how pitiful these shreds are – and I can assure you that they are indeed pitiful – I cling onto them for all I’m worth. Which isn’t is much. I don’t need to tell you what a particularly horrible trap that is to end up in. It’s exquisitely horrible, as we all know. The quality of one’s life degrades and degrades and the more hideously degraded it gets the more desperately one clings onto it. Anything rather than the old ‘ego death’, right? Anything but that…


There are worse things in the world than ego death though, I can tell you. Who’s going to argue with me on that one? Who would be foolish enough to try to argue about that? What’s worse than ego death is the fate of having to lead the stupidly nonsensical life of the ego, day in day out! Having to endure it. Or rather having to enjoy it, having to think that it’s great. That’s the ultimate loss of dignity. To be having a lousy time would at least involve some integrity; there is some honesty in that – there is dignity in honest suffering after all. How I long for the redemption of honest suffering! But to be full of oneself and full of the yap and the cockiness, to be smug and conceited and to go about talking bullshit, thinking that you’re such a big shot or whatever. Thinking you’re actually something. That’s what’s really unbearable.


So that’s what’s worse than the dreaded ‘ego death’ – the appalling spectacle of egoic existence. The cheap and nasty bullshit of egoic existence. What’s worse than ego death is the utterly meaningless and super-trashy interminable charade that is the life of the offensive ego. And I can assure you that there is nothing more dire, more stomach-turning than that. I am of course particularly sickened by having to encounter euphoric egos. I am particularly sickened by euphoric egos because I myself am no longer euphoric, as I started out by saying. Euphoria is the fuel that keeps us going and when the tank finally runs dry and the very last drop is used up then things get pretty nasty – the bullshit is still there (of course) but it’s all very dark, very oppressive. Not so many laughs to be had out of it, not so many at all.


I am a scum-covered pool of stagnant seawater permanently separated from the shining, sparkling ocean. Even the brine-shrimps shun me. All living things shun me and that is only right. That is only fitting. I’d shun myself, if I could. I’d happily leave myself to rot if that were possible. I’d walk away and pretend I know nothing about it. Unfortunately I can’t do that…









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