The center

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There is a person in my life I don’t particularly like. I don’t see him often, but when I do, I cringe.

He’s the guy who needs to be the center of attention.

You know him. Well, someone like him. He owns conversations; hogs words as if they were M&Ms in a bowl. When he asks a question, he’s not asking to listen to your response. No, he’s asking so he can respond to your response with his predetermined thought. In fact, the asking of a question is simply a red carpet for his inevitable genius. You might as well not reply. Your words mean nothing.

The person I don’t like believes he is fascinating, and this—in and of itself—is fascinating. Because none of us are all that fascinating. We have funny stories and sad stories and unique stories, but so does that guy. And that guy. Her and her and him and you. We all live, and during the accumulated years we see things that make for good narrative. I’ve come across people who presume I must be fascinating, because I’ve interviewed tons of athletes and covered tons of games. But, before long, they realize I’m just like everyone else. Words strung together. Meh, blah, blah, meh.

When I’m with the person I don’t particularly like, I watch him. Study him. Because his mannerisms and quirks and such are so unique. The gestures are warm—hand on shoulder, empathetic nod—but fraudulent. He’s showing how concerned he is, so that you’ll go home and say, “Boy, Elvin sure is concerned.” And, indeed, he is concerned. With his image.

Anyhow, I’m going to bed. But that was irking me …