I am reading Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird in which she cites Phillip Lopate’s poem as an example of shaping one’s paranoia “into something artistic and true.” I chuckled. In that sort of painful and true kind of way.

We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.

ouch! Yes, that does sum up human paranoia quite nicely. That really, we will one day find out--or perhaps not ever find out! (which is worse?)--that those who we most want affection from are really just in the relationship in order to gain selfishly and when that is no longer there, then the game's up. I love Anne Lamott. She speaks such true, honest words.