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The Self-Criticisms of Nick Candy

Nick Candy was a successful attorney in Connecticut who married, raised two daughters (one journalist and one hand surgeon), divorced, remarried and died in his early 70s of a metastasized bowel cancer. After his death his daughters found a number of files on his desktop in a folder labelled self-criticism. They give some insight into Candy himself, and perhaps, into the question of the difference between what a man is to himself and what he is to those who know him.

PLEASING PEOPLE
I try too hard to please people. I should be me first, then see if people like that. Hard!

SELF-KNOWLEDGE
I say I want to know myself, but do I? Anytime I pretend to be trying to understand myself I always rush through the issue quickly.

SUGAR
I am addicted to sugar. When I try to get off sugar I know deep down that I am looking forward to relapsing.

SELF-CRITICISM
I need to be more self-critical. Not just because it is expected of me, because it is a good thing.

LIES
I tried to make a list of lies I tell myself. “I try as hard as I can to be a good father.” “I truly care about my job.” “I really want to watch less t.v.” I couldn’t stop. I realized something. All I tell to myself, to my co-workers, to my loved ones are lies. I don’t even remember what it feels like to tell the truth anymore.

SELF-OBSESSION
I am simultaneously too self-obssessed and not self-obssessed enough. I think about myself a lot or I tell myself I do. But how do I know what I’m thinking about is the real me. I think it isn’t. I think the me I’m obsessed with is a fake to trick me while the real me sneaks out the door.

PUDDLES
I love to look at puddles.

EYES
I have the best eyes of anybody at my job. When I look in the mirror my eyes look like the eyes of a human being, while the eyes of the people I work with seem to me like those of brutal animals.

WASHING MY HANDS
I am grateful for the feeling of water on my hands in the morning.

EMOTIONS
I wish my emotions were was good as the ones people have in movies.

BONES
Deep down I am in love with my bones.

LOVE
I don’t know if what I feel is love.

THE MEADOWS OF ZOTH
When I was a little kid I used to imagine running away to the meadows of Zoth. It was a big mistake that I didn’t. I wonder if I still can.

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8 thoughts on “The Self-Criticisms of Nick Candy

  1. Mikey says:

    That’s only half the story about sugar. Everyone’s addicted to sugar and everyone loves relapsing. But relapsing is only fun if you give up, so when he’s relapsing he’s also looking forward to giving up again. Neither sugar nor abstinence are any fun, but the flux of the two is pretty exciting.

      • Aww, that’s a little cruel, given it’s life and death (from this side, anyway – on your side it might just be a made up lawyer dude)!

        What’s to get? There’s gotta be something there! Surely! Life and death! 😮

      • Now now, I’ve already been given a life to scratch my head over all by myself by one random ‘author’. Do I need another life from another author who will just as much leave me by myself to scratch my head over it?

      • was he too hard on himself? were his self-criticisms what made his life worthwhile or were they the thing that kept him from living his life?
        A LEEDL OF BOTH, PA-PA!

      • Depends if he left himself waiting on a redemption only someone else could give, yet left him (cruelly?) twisting in the wind?

        Otherwise it was the weaving of values that was essentially him. How can the thing that is you be the thing that stops you living?

        Unless you dodge and weave to avoid responsibility (freedom! (?)), but ultimately are entangled – which takes us back to redemption poised on anothers lips.

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