Everyone is born alone and dies alone. The space in between involves fellow travelers, but the journey is a one-way ticket for one.
It is the fate of every narcissist to view certain things as being signs just for them. Any hypocrite that ever spent Sunday morning in church after a Saturday night of sin knows this feeling. The scripture selected for that day just rips right to the heart of your recent weakness. Beads of sweat build up on a guilty forehead. Does everyone know? Can they see through the God-fearing facade to the heart of the hopeless sinner sitting in front of them?
That’s the feeling I’ve had for most of the week. There’s a quote that I don’t remember knowing that’s been following me around. It’s by Desiderius Erasmus: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” As a hobby writer and novice blogger, I’ve already established a bit of a fan club. These groupies from church, business, and my family tell me how insightful my writing is. They’ve encouraged me to keep at it. This is dangerous for a narcissist. It’s enabling. There’s always that nagging voice in my head that says I suck, but it gets quiet sometimes with all this undeserved support. My narcissism has always been more of a reverse self love. Love and hate are very similar emotions, and my ego has always been fed by the love of hating my own shortcomings. This is why I have trouble dealing with my siblings. They remind me of my own worst faults, making them unbearable at times, but they’re not the theme of this piece which is: ME, ME, ME. The few clever lines I doll out are usually perceived as such, but I’m just waiting for someone to find out the truth. I’m not that clever. In a politically correct world, being direct can look clever. I’m very direct, but rarely smart. I was an average student in school. My only real skill is remembering dialogue from sitcoms that went off the air years ago and movies no one else remembers. I won the affection of my wife with clever lines stolen from such places. When you have an affinity for movies and shows no one else likes, it’s as if you have your own staff of writers and an endless supply of cool things to say. But life is not a sitcom.
Who is to blame for the narcissist I am? Mother and Dad? The culture? Nope. It’s me. See the pattern? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about free will lately too. I’ve chosen my own path. Small choices made every day have led me to this spot at this time. Things that I didn’t understand at the time have had enormous consequences. I believe in free will, but I also believe in fate, destiny, a higher power, angels, heredity and environment. I believe that I am both God’s most loved creation and the most insignificant of beings at the same time. I don’t fault God though. It’s not the culture either. Kristofferson once called Johnny Cash a “walking contradiction.” That’s me, and there’s nobody to blame but me. Everyone is born alone and dies alone. The space in between involves fellow travelers, but the journey is a one-way ticket for one. The fact that anyone would celebrate my particular brand of brain garbage is beyond me, but I own it. It’s mine. A little old lady that I scarcely know stopped me after church the other day to congratulate me on how smart I was; feeding the monster that is my ego. I brushed off the comment, and I fear I offended her in doing so. I didn’t dismiss the compliment out of pride, but out of the self hatred that stems from knowing my own personal truth. It was undeserved.
In a land that has been bombed by sitcoms and young adult fiction, I’m just one of the few semi-enlightened beasts left roaming the countryside looking for a kernel of truth. The quotes that stick in my head, the contrarian views on history, the obstinate posture are all part of what makes me special. The truth is that I’m not that smart. I’m not that funny. In a world of chaos I’m in love with the thought that there are some absolute truths, and so I spend my days thinking about them. Football is not interesting to me. Politics looks more and more like a game for losers. The truth is the only thing that fascinates me. I wish I could turn it off, and sometimes I get distracted, but it’s always nagging me to come back. I’m not king. Not by a long shot. But with my one good eye I catch a glimpse of the truth on occasion. Sometimes I can articulate what I saw. I guess people like that. Go figure. Good for ME!