Lester was a narcissist. When confronted with the claim he always denied it, but quickly proclaimed if he was he’d be phenomenally adept at such a quirk. Woeful self-awareness had always been his way. It was this particular personality flaw that often landed him in deep trouble.
He rarely found himself in the “fun” sort of trouble. Many nights ended with him saying, “I didn’t notice the sign” as he made his one phone call to his brother asking for help paying his bail. His car had been impounded more times than he cared to admit, but he insisted those incidents were never his fault.
One warm summer’s afternoon he sat on a cold metal bench in a holding cell and waited for his brother to arrive. He tapped his foot to a rhythm only he heard and the other inmates, mostly drunks and a few vandals, looked at him with eyes begging him to stop the annoying tick. He did not notice the objection and was quite fortunate his brother arrived when he did; the spray paint bandit near the south wall was plotting upgrading the charges he faced.
As the two left the police station, fine paid and outstanding warrants cleared, Lester’s brother asked an all too common question. “What happened this time?”
Lester guffawed and explained that, ‘just like last time’, the ambulance’s sirens were not loud enough to be heard over traffic and his truck’s stereo. He in fact did not lead the motorcycle cop on a low speed chase intentionally and did not see the pedestrians and their supposedly “angry waving” as he ran a red light – which was most certainly yellow, he was never mistaken about such things.
“Fire. Flood. Not your fault. I know the speech, Lester,” his brother said. “Just, start checking your mirrors for me, would you?”
“Hey, I’m a really good driver,” Lester protested the suggestion to the opposite.
His brother shook his head. Lester’s ego clouded so much.