The Creaking Chair - XXIX


08th July 1999

I have been told I suffer from an elevated sense of narcissism
and I don’t think I can deny the allegations
you decide to agree and accept things when they are repeated
from multiple loved ones and time over time
I think I even get a sense of pride in the title, if it can be called so
it goes with being a narcissist I am told – a circular cycle

I have also tried to dig deeper into the reason of why it should be so
I am otherwise quite a humble character
if I were a part of a movie or a character in a book
I would be one of those on the edge characters
those whom you don’t etch themselves in your mind when you finish the book
but who linger on the periphery, with a few moments clearly remembered

But I digress from the point and linger on my own narcissism, again
No surprises..
what I want to write about is an introspection
which you would have guessed by now is on my narcissism
Yesterday I was speaking to Atul
and in the backdrop of the fact that the world is going through a shit storm
it was a conversation I had picked up to check on him
and his grandson who was unwell and in the throes of COVID
it should have been a one way conversation with an attempt to unburden the worries
“get some of the pain and frustrations out of the system by talking it out” as they say
and my part in the act was to lend a genuine ear, listen intently and support where I could
no rocket science

It was going on those tracks, till that point when Atul spoke about the fear of being useless
and not being able to provide enough help when the family needed it
the realization that we have grown old and were we a liability more than support
do our children feel more scared about our wellbeing than feeling a sense of comfort
it’s a thought that can wreak your mind – at our age, it does
but that line of thought was not the seed to be watered by me then and there
it was about Atul and his worries and I was supposed to be passive

But how do you maintain an air of neutrality in your head
when you are going through the same doubts and fears
and when that happens how do your prevent the stories from getting mingled,
fears becoming one and slowly but surreptitiously the narrative turning to your own life
so I guess it not just about me being narcissistic, but the fact that it is human nature
that is how I am justifying it to me tonight for a peaceful sleep
and in all fairness, we all have spend hours cribbing together about our life problems
when we were young and dumb, why should it change when we grow old and wiser as they say

~ Ashk

P.S. – Of late, I have realized I am being lazy in my entries. I build the background and hover on the edge of what happened, but don’t really go into the details when the time comes. What am I afraid of, I wonder!

P.P.S. – Atul lost his grandson 2 weeks post our talks. I am meeting him today to raise a toast to him. I hope I have the right words to say to Atul

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