Have you ever had a great idea, or achieved a significant accomplishment, only to see someone else grab all the credit? If so, how did you deal with the shock and bitterness? Did you attempt to right the wrong, to expose the thief? And what if the thief fought back, successfully thwarting you, until the pain of pursuit threatened your family’s happiness, as well as your own sanity? Would you finally give up? Could you?
This “journey to the edge of reality” is explored in my novel Nexus, where the clear and simple goal of righting a wrong devolves into a murky and obsessive quest for justice.
p.s. Double Visions (which contains the novel Nexus and short novel Purgatory) just received a favorable evaluation by a respected reviewer:
“Double Visions is a double pack of novels from N. E. Walker … a very much recommended read.” –Midwest Book Review
Can you see yourself as others see you? Probably not completely, but if you have a few good friends that provide honest feedback, you’ll probably be okay — if you listen to them.
Unfortunately, quite a few people don’t listen, are not interested in listening, and aren’t even aware that they should listen. These are the Perfect People. They walk directly in front of you at an event and unapologetically block your view, talk over you, let their kids run wild in restaurants, use coarse language regardless of the sensibilities of their audience, and in general go through life as though nothing matters but their own desires.
One of the most common symptoms of a Perfect Person is that they always talk about themselves, but ask nothing about you. Well, sometimes they do throw out a perfunctory “how’s it going?“ as a greeting, but when you start to answer they ignore you and steer the conversation back to whatever interests them, which is typically… them. (If you’re a good listener and can tolerate being ignored, you will collect Perfect People like lint.)
And woe be to you if you should inadvertently do any little thing that a Perfect Person doesn’t like, for they will be highly offended, typically expressing their displeasure with melodramatic anger punctuated by vulgar words and gestures. That’s because, in the view of a Perfect Person, polite manners are only required to travel in one direction, from others to them.
In my short novel Purgatory I approach the topic of self-centered behavior obliquely, embedding it in an offbeat mystery with a twilight-zone tinge, capped with a revelatory surprise at the end. If you decide to read it — particularly if you’ve had to endure Perfect People — I think you’ll find the ending quite satisfying.