Tom

A semi-auto-biographical character sketch. I would like to be able to forget myself more often.


Tom was a man who thought about himself a lot. He wasn’t egotistical, just a bit self-centered. When he met new people, he mostly thought about how they would fit into his life. Would they be a friend? An enemy? An acquaintance? A lover? A confidante? Tom enjoyed reading. It allowed him to explore other places and ideas. After reading a book, Tom felt as if he had become a better person. He also liked recommending books to other people so that they could be come better people and talk to him about what they thought of the book. Of course, these conversations were tricky because Tom had to convey the right attitude and ideas for the other person to approve of him. Sometimes, Tom would be distracted by other things, like the movie adaptation he wanted to see. But few people noticed, so it was fine. On the weekends, Tom volunteered at the local nature preserve, raking leaves and collecting trash from the trails. Tom enjoyed his time in nature; it was relaxing, and he was making the place nicer. Every time he heard some one marvel at the beauty of the reserve, he felt a small bloom of satisfaction. Tom lived by himself, but often went out with his friends during the evening. When he was feeling tired, he stayed home and called them instead. Sometimes, before falling asleep, Tom would think about how his friends had influenced him, and about the roles they played in his story. This would lead him to think about how he had influenced his friends. Sometimes he felt he did good, sometimes he was disappointed to find that he did bad. However, he tended to lead towards the good, he felt. Once, during one of those nights when he was counting up his deeds, he leaned close to the precipice of empathy, slipped one of his feet into another shoe, forgot the persistent ache in his neck. Caught a glimpse of a different world. But Tom remembered that he had a project presentation the next day, and forgot about it.

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