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Max Roytenberg

Max Roytenberg :Cleaning Up My Act

Max Roytenberg, written November, 2013, Dublin, posted March 26, 2014

I’ve been thinking about it! There is no getting around it. I am approaching a state of infinite perfection.

 I have not come to this conclusion lightly. I have examined all aspects of myself with meticulous care. I don’t know anybody that I know, and I have looked very carefully at the full catalogue of all the human beings with whom I am acquainted, searching high and low-I know I am totally unbiased-I can find no-one, no-one that I know, that can match me for breadth of vision, perception, sensitivity-all the things that I value so much.

And I am good looking too. My dear wife tells me so all the time. My appearance, in spite of advancing age and the natural deterioration associated with that state, has taken on a quality of grandeur. I did not ask for this, I do not apply powders and potions, skilled surgeons do not use their advanced tools on my body, there are no esoteric chemicals and foods being consumed-it just happened. Can you imagine that I used to worry about how I looked?

I admit that I am not the best mathematician-and numbers befuddle me some time. I invariably lose at Poker. Somehow I find I am careless at chess, to my detriment. That’s a silly game anyway. As are tennis and golf- spectator sports are so much more fun after all. Some are also surprised, as well, at my unique sense of style-somewhat taken aback at the way I put the colours of my outfits together-but that is what style is all about isn’t it.? As for music- I may lack an encyclopaedic knowledge, and there is no accounting for taste, but I believe I have a unique ability to recall just the absolutely correct music for any occasion. My favourites are universally approved of and I do have a lovely singing voice enabling my choices to be well appreciated.

And I am amazed at how modest I am about these blessings that have been bestowed upon me. What keenness of mind! What depth of thought! I seem to have the answers to all the important questions of the current day. My command of the English language simply takes ones breath away. I wait humbly to be consulted. I do not force my opinions on others-I listen to what others have to say no matter how nonsensical. I do sometimes become impatient and speak out-some things just have to be said-but I am a good listener. I am generally very, very patient.

I must admit it has not always been this way. I have come to this over a long and rocky path. My past is littered with thoughtless mistakes that I recognized only with maturity. I have probably made all the mistakes it is possible to make. The foolishness of youth combined with a careless impetuosity, and, perhaps, a tendency to want to clearly speak my mind, have insured that I have spent many a day digging myself out of troubles that I had created for myself. There are times when I should have asked for advice, but how can one be sure that the motives of confidants are unbiased? There is a record of some contention with others-some people can be so obstinate even in the face of overwhelming logic and good sense-but  fortunately one can count on my great skill in smoothing ruffled feathers. I think that in the past I may have had too high an opinion of my good judgment. But I have corrected all that. It is amazing how well I have cleaned up my act. I have left all that behind me.

Now, I have little in the way of these problems. My wife and I live in a kind of splendid isolation. The children do not trouble us with their problems. That is a great relief. It is rare when we see the grandchildren. Our friends seem very busy all the time, they are hardly available when we venture into their orbit and attempt a visit. Thankfully, it is our own company we enjoy most after all.


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