Two songs and two thoughts went through my mind as I sat in this chair, getting this picture taken at a local winery.
I’ve got to keep my image while suspended on a throne
That looks out upon a kingdom filled with people all unknown
Who imagine I’m not human and my heart is made of stone
And I’ve never had no problems and my toliet’s trimmed with gold
Spencer Davis Group, “I’m a Man”
What that idiotic smirk on my face doesn’t show is the inner realization that if those lyrics resonated with even the smallest part of me, then I have only myself to blame. If I do portray this image, it’s because I’ve developed a Game Face. I wondered if the Game Face may be part of some psychological defense mechanism that may or may not be needed anymore. I wondered if maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance that my life might be better off without it.
But then, I remembered the words to another song…
I was the king of the world
I had every thing thrown at me,
That the judge and jury could hurl
I was the man of the hour
I would claw and scratch my way up,
To the very top of the tower
-Toto, “King of the World”
Then I realized there were reasons I was the way I am. No, I haven’t been severely traumatized or anything, at least no more so than your average Joe. But somewhere along the way, I decided the Game Face became a handy tool for helping me get back up whenever I was knocked down. I decided that maybe it was the price of doing business in life. I decided that it wasn’t making me hard or calloused in the way people don’t like – the way that makes you slow, closed-off, and numb. I decided that it made me stronger – like a fighter who’s not only conditioned to take a hit and get back up, but is willing to step back into the ring and tell the next chump (read: bit of disappointment) who wants a piece, “Come get some.”
I decided it’s good to be the king.