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.
I try too hard to please people. I should be me first, then see if people like that. Hard!
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.
I am addicted to sugar. When I try to get off sugar I know deep down that I am looking forward to relapsing.
I need to be more self-critical. Not just because it is expected of me, because it is a good thing.
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.
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.
I love to look at puddles.
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.
I wish my emotions were was good as the ones people have in movies.
Deep down I am in love with my bones.
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.