X tells me he’s found out a few home truths about himself. It boils down to the fact that he’s trying to fool me, he says, that everything he tells me is an attempt to fool me, to make a fool out of me by making himself look better and smarter than he is. It’s like when he reads his heady books, mouthing the words with his finger on the page and convincing himself he understands them. But you know all this, right? he asks me. You know it better than me, you knew it before me and you always knew I tried too hard. And so you must also know that the beautiful irony is that I only end up fooling myself, making a fool out of myself, he says. If you do, thanks for your tact, he tells me, thanks for resisting the temptation to beat me over the head with it. Maybe your silence is a blessing in disguise, says X.


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