Vaseline Smile

Here we go again.  Another spin round the wheel.  Reach up and pull it hard and watch the lights blink and the horns and bells clatter.  Maybe this time I’ll land on the $1.00.  The sparkly, craveable $1.00 slot.  I’ll jump and holler while the studio audience manically claps and grins for the cameras.  The host will press his dried up pucker against the flushed skin beneath my eye. 

The chances of hitting that prize are so slim.  I can predict my fate.  I won’t get the prize.  But yet here I am, grunting as I give the wheel my heartiest yank.

 I anticipate the heartache – almost yearn for it.  People will clap out of sympathy, and I’ll phonily smile as I hear the taunt of the wah wah. 

My dysfunctional appetite for failure.  The comfort I find solely in disappointment.  Hum a sad song, light a candle, toast the wine.   

The tragic throbbing of the hollow dying hope.  Its so attainable – so there for the taking.  More real than the first flush of a crush, more stinging an emotion than the pride from my first published word. 

The game show theme music blares as I shrink backstage.  I numbly endure the pats on my back and tune out the muffled maybe next times.  

But I’ll be back.  It will be another show, a different prize, and maybe…a different outcome.  Who would I take to Italy anyway?  I don’t need a fancy dinette set.  Nope, just my dumb tenacious fervor to get back out and try again.  

Try again to win something I probably don’t want or need in the first place.  To win, be the best, be loved, and to attempt the triumph.  To prove myself to the people who don’t even matter, who don’t even care, and who aren’t even watching in the first place.

[Originally posted on MySpace September 4, 2006, at 12:21 am under a haze of heavy wine consuption, frustration, and disappointment.]

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