The shades of high culture painted my eyes. I mistook elitism for excellence.

Like every attempt to scratch where it itches, I did everything I could to be considered elite. Once I qualified the bar for elitism in one area, I chased the next measure of elitism.

A Gucci silk shirt, a BMW car;
An Ivy League education, a private equity job;
Vintage wine, private jet;
Polished words, refined friends.

Almost touched the mirage.
But quite not.

Disappointed,
I turned to philanthropy.
Gave, gave.
Publicized my giving.

My philanthropy,
my obsession disguised as passion
left me bankrupt,
and divorced.

Years of painstaking efforts to be considered elite, to earn respect, were wasted in the aftermath of impulsive retorts. Those reactions sprang up from a smell of disrespect.

How can you not respect me?
I got degrees, a mansion.
How can you not love me?
I gave you luxury, comfort!
How can you not see me?
I am everywhere.

Why was that respect so important for me? I searched for answers. At the age of 65, I found my answer.

I had little self-respect.
To fill my void,
I surrendered myself
to scraps of prestige.

How stupid it was of me to be surrounded by people I didn’t want to spend my time with.

I started investing my time in
my old hairstylist (she has purple hairs),
my “uncool” friends,
my “unsuccessful” brother,
my gardener’s daughter.
They sure know how to share joys.

I started reading Harry Potter,
got done with my ego,
became an intern of life.
I dared to fall in love with her,
less than half my age is she.
Bonny works as a waitress in a bar,
she speaks in a strange accent,
knows nothing about vintage wine.
Told me once:
“Blame not the dark for your night,
you despised the day for its light.”
I said all right.
Her wisdom from hardships
glued me together.

I, finally,
am an elite.

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