There is a magical playlist of short fiction poetry and film reviews on this channel.
Go to the description under the video. There's a link. Click on it to enter the treasure cave of Sam Vaknin's true life stories, true events that have happened to me.
And today, the narcissist's evolving relationship with God or with the Son of God, whether you believe it or not.
Here we go.
Losing my mind in a bed-sitter, pipes crackling in the kitchenette, spewing fecal water in the only the urinal, a tolerable translucence.
The cramped space is consumed by a rough-hewn timber bed, prickly wool blankets strewn across it. The sheets are a crumpled bowl, spotted with aging spittle stains. The window looks onto another window. Mine is a corporate apartment in Geneva, a menacing physical presence of solitude and silence crystallized.
On weekend mornings, I promenade at length along the lakeshores, traverse the foothills, the sumptuous mansions of the rich, and back through the marina and the slums behind the Nogga Hilton Hotel. On my return, the flat contracts the standard issue table, the single chair, my scattered clothing, the mitted rotary dial for French and German television channels, which I cannot fathom.
Once weekly, on Monday mornings, a woman comes to clean. Her legs are cast in limpid stockings. I smell her cleanser perspiration.
A coarse elastic rains her stonewashed hair.
She is not bejeweled. She wears a pair of twisted wire rings.
Her husband sometimes tags along, buried under her scrubbing implements.
She hardly ever acknowledges my cornered and abashed existence, like a besooted mummy with glimming imitation leather shoes.
She does my laundry and my ironing too.
The truth is, I did not want to die. I sought refuge in numbers, solace in propinquity.
I thought I joined the Jesuits. I strolled to the United Nations building and I met a senior bureaucrat, a member of the Jesuit order.
His angled modest office overlooks a busy work in progress intersection.
But he renounced this destruction. He listened to my well-rehearsed oration and referred me to a monastery at the other end of town.
Ambling along the waterfront, I scrutinized the flower beds, the tourists and the spout.
Even at dusk, I found this city languid. All shops were closed.
I had a dinner date with a Londoner, a naturalized Iranian oil trader. Throughout the meal, he kept rebuking me.
You sound like someone whose life is long behind him. It is not true. You are so young.
I drove my shrimps among the thousand islands in my bowl. You're observant, sir, I said, but wrong. I may be possessed of past, but I'm not possessed of a future.
I gauged the impact of my harsh pronouncement on him. Not necessarily a thing to warn, I added.
My guest rearranged the remnants of his dinner on his soiled plate.
I gathered that he was far too experienced to be optimistic.
The next morning, I visited the friary. A young monk clad in sportswear eyed me with surprise.
I mentioned my referrer from the United Nations, and I was instantly admitted.
We occupied a metal bench amidst the bustling corridor.
He told me about the order, the Jesuit order. They studied several years, and then they embark on charitable missions in far-flung countries, and then they take vows.
I reassured him that I was celibate, and he pretended to believe me, although it was absolutely true.
Celibate and a virgin.
Later that evening, Gene called me and invited me to his bookstore to inspect a new shipment.
I used to spend all weekends in that bookstore, reading, socializing, and devouring unwholesome food in the adjacent restaurant.
Shoppers came and went. Gene would register the day's meager intake in his books and lock the entrance door.
Sometimes, we would proceed to patronize an old city coffee house, but usually I would return to my alcove and wait for Monday.
That day, when I arrived, Gene offered me a cup of lukewarm coffee and said, "Stay with me, please, this evening."
The last client having departed, Gene bolted the iron shutters, and we proceeded uptown to get drunk.
It was a farewell sacrament, Gene told me.
He has lost his savings and a lot of other people's funds.
Gene climbed to my apartment and wept throughout the night of his intoxicated desperation, but I walked to find him gone.
And thus, my world instantly narrowed. The weather chilled. I couldn't pierce the stubborn rainfall that swathed my windowpains.
A raid in heavy overcoat, I sat, patchwork, quilt of light and shade.
Or fully dressed, prostrated, the blankets heaped on my proprussan bed.
People from Israel stayed at my place. They ate my food and slept and showered. Slept over and then they moved off.
I traveled back there to Israel on vacations.
A journalist who did my profile years ago refused to interview. He said, "Dead horses don't make a story."
My nightmares swelled with equine carcasses discharging jets of ink-black blood.
"Come winter," I called on the prairie again.
"You must first see the light. You must see Jesus."
My youthful guide insisted.
"But ready with a riposte, I rejoined.
There are many paths to one's salvation and to one's saviour.
It sounded good."
Savoring my worn-out platitude, he promised to arrange for an interview in Zurich, the regional headquarters.
So many years have passed since then.
Perhaps a dream, perhaps an ocean picture snippet, perhaps I'm overwhelmed by one of my confabulations.
I remember descending from a train ankle high in rustling snow, treading uncharted tracks towards an illuminated building, a boarding school.
The manageress conducts a prideful tour of speckless premises. Toddlers in flowery pyjamas amuse themselves with ligneous cubes and plastic toys.
I can't remember if I've actually been there.
That morning in Zurich, I climbed up a hill next to the colossal railway and I rang an ornate bell at the gate of an unassuming office building.
I was led into an anti-chamber and led into the quarters of the abbot.
He had a kind face without a trace of gullibility. His desk was neatly organized, trained by giving bookcases and shafts of grained light.
I was being examined, oblivious to the rules.
Why do you wish to join us in quiet and then follow me?
We climbed down to the dormitories of the fresh initiates.
He mutely pointed at the crooked berths, the metal chests, the hanging hair-shirts.
He said to me, "We fast a lot. We pray from dawn till midnight."
He introduced me to the novices. "They look so happy and resilient."
He smiled. Echoes of clerical exertion from above, repounded in the cellar.
"We've got some guests," he clarified, "and suddenly awakening.
Have you already eaten?
We crossed a lengthy passage, veined with piping, thrusting a gape, the heavy oak doors at its end.
I entered first and he followed to face a purple multitude of churchmen.
They rose in noiseless unison and waited.
My host declaimed. "We have a Jewish guest from Israel today."
He would say, "Grace for us."
In Hebrew, perhaps?
The hall reverberated.
My host impelled me forward, a sea of crimson skullcaps as they rested foreheads on locked diaphanous digits.
I uttered the Jewish prayer slowly, improvising some.
The alien phrases recoiled from the masonry, bounced among the massive trestle tops, ricocheted from the clay utensils, the crude carved cutlery, the cotton tableclothes.
A towering Jesus bled into candled recess.
The abbot led me to a chair and placed a bowl of nebulous soup in front.
He stuck a wooden spoon right in the swirling liquid and went away.
I ate, head bowed, maintaining silence, conforming to the crowds of the centaious decorum.
The rib asked over. I rejoined the abbot and his guests in the procession to his office.
He recounted proudly the tale of my most imminent conversion.
They all looked and asked. One of them inquired, "How did I find Jesus?" I said, "I hadn't yet."
The abbot smiled contentedly. "He is not a liar," he averred. "He doesn't lie, even when lying leads to profit."
Perhaps the profitable thing to do is to be truthful in this case, one bitterly commented.
The train back to Geneva crisscrossed a radiant medley, deserted streets spanned by forlorn bridges and spectral street lamps.
I exited into the ceiling station to the ascending roads and winding paths and broader avenues on to my flat.
Immersed in shadows to emerge in light, I gazed at curtained windows tightly shut.
I window-shocked and kicked some gravel.
At the entrance to my building, I did not turn on the light.
I couldn't face the immaculate stairwell, the doormats, the planted ports of crucible steel.
But darkness meant a lethal fall or stepping in the wrong apartment, intruding on the astonishing life of someone else.
The keys were all identical, I suspected.
I couldn't cope, even with my own life, let alone someone else's.
So I turned around into the public park, across the inner yard, down to the looping street that bordered on the water.
The lake was silver-struck and boats bobbed up and down obstructed waves.
Moon cleaved by stooping branches, heels vaporizing into mist.
I circumambulated them all, resting on soggy benches, the stations of my pilgrimage.
The lake and road diverged and I arrested at the slopes.
I didered momentarily and then proceeded to ascend the footpath, liberally dotted with fallen leaves and broken twigs.
Submerged in muddy soil, the rich substrate of foliar death, I kicked the ripeness of dispersing acorns.
I stopped in front of Dudley's home, a medieval French chateau, to study yet again its consummation's contours.
Inside, behind the gate, Dudley constructed a tiny summer house atop a brook.
We oft debated topics there we both knew little of. I never came there unannounced or uninvited.
Moonlight transforms brickwork and chateaus into the stuff of magic.
They take your breath away and hurly back at you until it splinters.
A canine wail, how apt, as though directed.
Ripples of wholeness, happy containment, containment and perfect abundance.
I went back the way I came, booting the same pebbles, hard on my heels, ethereal presence.
The night inflamed.
I arrived at my apartment, the stacks of documents and books, a glass of opaque water, the stale exhaling carpet, talk shows unfolding in a thick Bavarian accent.
I half expect an angry neighbor to tap his wall, our wall, with naked pounds, or worse, the cleaning lady.
At home, it's almost dawn, a blue horizon, a slit, a tidy envelope, and draw its innards.
The abbot advises me to prepare to visit Boston in the following week.
I'm expected there for an in-depth interview. I made a good impression.
Your motives look sincere, in Christ.