The Narcissist


He always opened doors for ladies. and thanked you if you made him tea: in all the facile worlds he entered, he defined life’s mannered courtesies, but something in his bearing told you his instincts were all predatory. He swam through life’s corralled regions, assessed you as he passed you by: were you worth him impressing, or merely getting in his way.

Could you help him with his progress, or briefly slake his thirst for pleasures?  Or were you flotsam, low in value, barely worth the air you breathed? Always courteous, that’s a given, he sought only for short-term pleasures while talking of the larger game, indicating past successes but modestly kept the details vague. New women brought out the laughter, he bought them cocktails by the yard, dazzled them with his connections, who they might meet in time perhaps.

But if he were to meet your daughter, your heart would fill with tragedy, because, shielded by polished bravado, you knew the man was all at sea. The only thing which made him sober was a life more tragic than his own. With men who drank to find composure, or ladies careless with their dress, he might drop his guard a little, and admit his life was full of mess. Moving on was his solution, he kept the conversation light, but ghosts, we know, are famed for patience, waiting out the daylight hours, rising out of your subconscious, to prod those wounds you keep from sight.

We all need love and recognition, but first you must believe them real. Feel a look filled with compassion is not a plan to make you ill. Care beyond his comprehension  might heal him, if he learned to trust.  Faith is all God asked of him because without it we are lost.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, faith, Fiction, Life, Love, Relationships, values, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Narcissist

  1. Al says:

    I’ve known a few of these unsavory chaps myself. My daughter almost married one, but good sense prevailed at the eleventh hour. It hit her the very moment she mailed out the wedding invitations. We quickly went to the printers and sent out a “never mind” follow-up. True story.

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  2. On the other hand who is really the better off, the character like this or the one who ponders life too deeply? Devil’s Advocate, I know! Well written.

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    • Interesting question. In fact, according to some views. some of them are very successful in business and politics. although their affect on those they meet on their way to the summit is more open to question. I would certainly rather be a “thinker” than a “strutter” but I do have a certain reputation for eccentricity 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Again, Peter, your prose takes on the cadence of underlying poetry. The message universal. The causes that make people into these creatures vary – but the choice to change is always in the hands of the individual. You cannot “be” to someone else if you cannot “be” to you.

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  4. catterel says:

    This reads like a poem – it scans most of the time and even rhymes. Is that deliberately contrived, or simply your natural poetic flow? And oh yes, this fellow is still very much at large!

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  5. Poetically written Peter and with a message. Oh I have known such people, almost been snared but escaped in time. (Many years ago!) . Bring on the thinkers! 😊

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  6. This does read like a lyrical prose….and yes, I have come across such individuals in my life….and fortunately have learned to avoid them like the plague:)
    Thank you once again, Peter for a lovely post. Janet.

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  7. Think I know this guy.

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  8. Peter, you know I know this guy all too well but you managed to describe him in such a way it was poetic, which is almost a total contradiction from what a narcissist is. Was that on purpose? of course it was! silly me.
    Loved it as usual! Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

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  9. zohaibamjad1 says:

    What bothers me is how can these people feel like they have an existence? If they can’t think and keep drowning into a puddle, they can escape from, how can they ever have a constant peace of mind? I am happier being a thinker than a strutter. One of the great prophets said, “A person should not be governed by truth, but they should question and govern the truth”.

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  10. This was such a powerful line for me “Care beyond his comprehension might heal him, if he learned to trust.”. You really did describe a narcissist very well, in a wonderful way.

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  11. As soon as I started to read this I pictured my ex-husband. What I originally saw as charm and chivalry I now know to be a mask for his insecurity and lack of confidence. All told I have known him for over twenty years and yet I still don’t know the real man. Through marraige, childbirth, divorce and life he is still not bake to just be his true self. How sad that is.

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  12. ksbeth says:

    emotional vampires are best kept at a distance.

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  13. Such beauty and heartache in your writing, Peter. xxx

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  14. Finely wrought description of some men from my past!

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  15. I like that style of writing as if we are seeing inside your mind. As for your man your describing, the world needs all types even the predator ones to make the ecosystem evolve and survive..

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  16. I’ve met people like this. Porcelain People, that’s what I call them. All polished and perfect on the surface. But a mere crack reveals an ugly and unfortunate reality hidden by the thin veneer.

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  17. gotham girl says:

    So well done Ducky!!!

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  18. kate4samh says:

    This killed me with a blinding light of recognition. And the last lines……. You really aren’t bad at this writing thing.

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  19. claywatkins says:

    popped on over from Brown Road Chronicles, wanted to see what you got – that’s is one interesting character and I hope my daughter never drags him home. Have wonderful week.

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  20. This is beautiful and poetic. I read it twice and sadly, that predatory nature is deeply hidden in our psyche. For most of us, we justify the behavior, and some of us are vigilant to keep it at bay. As always, you provide food for thought.

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  21. Pingback: Reflections on a passing life. | Live Love Laugh

  22. bhdandme says:

    Thanks for the like….. I liked your narcissist, btw. There was something in the cadence of the writing made me think of poetry. I liked the fact that he wasa ‘all at sea’, which made him flawed, rather pure evil, and therefore one of us, rather than a convenient ‘one of them.’ Nice one (in the older meaning of the word)!

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  23. dmulcare says:

    Well crafted, Thanks for sharing.

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