Charm and vulnerability
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Having strangers come up to me and ask about a memorial service for Charles surprised me. I didn’t know he had so many friends.
I’d forgotten how charming he could be.
The twin elements of Charles’ appeal to others were vivacity and vulnerability.
Happiness he communicated to others effortlessly. We like those who make us smile.
When he was unhappy he looked like a sad little boy. Everything about him said “please help me.”
The vulnerability drew me, often held me in thrall.
It also seduced a succession of middle-aged and elderly women who wanted to mother him (as I guess did I).
Knowing only his selectively sold side of his story they’d take his side. Assure him the other was at fault.
The provided him with temporary oases freeing him from the need to change his life.
His charm was a trap. But I feared as he aged it would fade, leaving him even more helpless than he had been.
Nothing would’ve been more pitiable than a fifty-year-old ‘sad little boy.’