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The reality was, he liked the story of himself.
Liked it better than the truth of himself. In the truth of himself, he was second-class and grubby and always out of step. He still had his Boston accent and didn’t know how to dress right, and he thought too many thoughts that most people would find “funny”. The truth of himself was a scared little boy, mislaid by his parents like reading glasses on a Sunday afternoon, treated to random kindnesses by older brothers who came without notice and departed without warning. The truth of himself was a lonely boy in an empty house, waiting for someone to knock on his bedroom door and ask if he was okay.