Cindy eric hand. Madison, Wisconsin
Portrait by Cindy Nguyen

Why am I so vain?
To smother the self-doubt and the pain

Why am I so vain?
Because I think I’m always right and the best; forget the opinions of the rest.

Why am I so vain?
Because I fear if I lose self-confidence, I will falter and not produce my best.

Why am I so vain?
I cannot explain— it is how I was raised.

I was always told I was the golden child
The oldest son of the oldest son
The one who would become great.

What did that ego-building make?
An individual who sought to be strong, for the sake of others
Who grew up, and eventually become a patron for his brothers and sisters.
Who silenced the whispers of self-doubt and hate,
Who refused to placate the screams of the haters
Who treated waiters like they were doing him a favor.

Eric with espresso. Madison, Wisconsin.

Why am I so vain?
In short, excessive self-doubt as a child
Who was fed up after a while, of being bullied around.
Now he listens to his own voice, his own mind, in surround-sound.

So friend,
Are you vain, or do you self-doubt?
Do you hate those with a big ego, because you want to partake in their confidence?
Or are you forced by society, to be fake-humble and insecure?

Flip over the table, and fuck the rules of society— there is no meaning in the world, rather, build your own values and make it yours.

Own yourself. Own your own opinion. Do it with a clean conscience while helping others, keep it clean linen.

Never quit winning, and building up yourself. Because the more you help you, the more you help me. Then we can all live freely, merrily, and share plentifully.

BE STRONG,
ERIC

Red petal leaves. Mark and isi Wedding.