He’s my age


been that way

since I got my first job

He’s an asshole

but I like him.

Immediately, he was recognized

for being cool.

I was recognized

for being smart.

“Why don’t you get up and give a talk?” He asked

He knew

I was uncomfortable

with that.

I took impractical routes

on roads not taken.

He was pragmatic (Although, he would never use that word)

He gave a talk, during my second year of labor

a big hit, describing his early life as a juvenile delinquent—

how his special education teacher whipped him into shape

“Now, I have a wife,” he said.

Everybody laughed.

She’s a special education teacher too.

At a summer conference, I asked him what he did with his vacation time

“I’m a ranger and I do helicopter rescue in the national parks.”

“How does a guy get to do that,” I asked.

“You have to know somebody,” he said with a smirk.

He has an emotional behavioral disability, but over the years, he’s learned to make it work

“What are you doing over your summer?” He asked.

“I’m trying to write.”

He smiled, a condescending smile (one of those bookworms—without a spine, he thought)

I won’t say, people have been underestimating me my whole life

because that’s not true.

People need evidence to believe in you

and I have won, several times, in my past.

Lately, victory has not sustained me—it’s my belief, in myself.

In elementary school

I was going to play pro basketball

In middle school

I was MVP

In high school

I was going to be a fighter

In college

I broke a kid’s nose

In graduate school

I was going to be a writer

At work, I became a psychologist

During my Doctorate Degree, I would be a leader

Finally, I became a writer.

No wife, but if I do a couple other things right

it might happen.

This guy, I admire

is the interim principal at my school

He has talked to the right people

and made himself useful

whereas, I am only useful to myself

“Stop being so selfish,” my dad says

but I see time

through my own eyes…

What I have created in secret

is worthwhile

What I have learned

on my own


and not what somebody else

was able to teach me.

I read during my doldrums

am I wiser?

I think by the river

I play golf to kill time

Can I reformulate my mind

to become

what they want me to be?

I don’t know

In the words of a literary Rocky Balboa

“I’m a writer. We can’t change what we are.”

“You can change,” his wife says.

“All we can do is go with what we are.”

And I believe that.

3 thoughts on “My Literary Rocky Balboa Alter Ego

  1. Rocky was always one of my Heros. I married late, but in the end it might have been better had I never married. I understand the struggle, life wears and wears at you, and so few really believe in us. But as Rocky says….it’s not how hard you hit….it’s how hard a hit you can take, and still get up

    Liked by 1 person

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