writing & jealousy

Who's top banana? 
I know two perfect litmus tests for my spiritual condition at any given moment: 1. waiting in a long line at Duane Reade, and 2. hearing the good news of another writer.
    The line at Duane Reade is easier to manage. Say the line's snaking waaaayy back to the dental floss display, and you have nary a sightline to a cash register. You can huff loudly, mutter fuck it, and leave. No one will think you are evil. In fact, people may follow suit and decide to eat Chinese dumplings around the corner instead.
    But hearing about another writer's amazing accomplishment--juicy prize, cash award, plum teaching job at The Best University in the Universe--that's a different story. If you happened to glimpse this news along with 97 thumbs-up on Facebook, you can't walk out of the Facebook store. You can't un-read it. In that split-second, you've waited a half hour in line, overheard a loud cell conversation, witnessed a toddler tantrum, been rung up by an apathetic cashier, and argued about how the sign said 2 for $6 so why are you being charged $9.99?! and ruined a perfectly decent mood.
    What to do? You can swear off the Book of Face. Or you can bitch to another writer about how so-and-so got the watchamallcallit and won the thingamajig. Only another writer will do, because no one else will know what you're talking about, because no one else reads poetry.
     Or, in a case of mixed metaphors, you can shake it off like a dog shakes off water after a bath. That's right, let that bad vibe shimmy down your spine. Wiggle and flick. Regain your bearings. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in humility, breathe out ego. Breathe in gladness, breathe out. Breathe in gratitude, breathe out.
    There now.
    Shoulders down. Chin up. Look the world in the eye, brave writer. Say: Congratulations, my friend. Well done.