Notice anything strange about this short story? It’s the tale of a man who struggles to understand his emotionally distant father. Take a quick read.

Story of a Man

I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape or time to act them in. I am an invisible man. I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by and by into our lives. I often stand in front of the mirror alone, wondering how ugly a person could get.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head,” he said. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

Old father, old artificer. Somewhere along the line you stopped. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.

I don’t know what you’re feeling. I won’t even pretend.

-The End-

booknerdypuzzleStory of a Man

I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape or time to act them in. [Hamlet, Shakespeare]. I am an invisible man. [Invisible Man, R. Ellison] I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. [Notes from Underground, F. Dostoevsky] I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming into our lives. [A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens] I often stand in front of the mirror alone, wondering how ugly a person could get. [Ham on Rye, C. Bukowski]

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. [The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald]

“Do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head [To Kill a Mockingbird, H. Lee],” he said. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” [The Godfather, M. Puzo]

Old father, old artificer. [A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, J. Joyce] Somewhere along the line you stopped accelerating. [Bright Lights Big City, J. McInerney] No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart. [The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald]

I don’t know what you’re feeling. I won’t even pretend. [The Virgin Suicides, J. Eugenides]

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