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Vol 5: The Delusional Man

He rarely says much of consequence. His truths seem like lies and his lies seem like truth. The Delusional Man is all over the place, unsure of each step he takes but acting with the confidence of someone who has done it a thousand times before. He makes excuses for himself constantly, as if others cannot see through the blatant evasions which wraps him up in this cocoon of hubris and tenacity. But at his core, there is a deep sadness that few can see.

"Love you," I hear him say as he hangs up the phone. Then he turns to me and says, "They didn't say it back."

His voice is lighthearted, but the disappointment, the heartache, is clear. He has a deep-seated need for love in his life. He once had a wife, but it's unclear what happened to her only giving another lie when asked about her name. The Delusional Man says he's divorced but hints that she may be dead. The bitterness in his words betray how he felt about her. Assuming she even existed. One can never tell when talking with him.

That's the thing about the Delusional Man. You can't trust that anything he says or even sees is real. He talks about shadow people in the corners of his vision. He alludes to a criminal past that cannot be verified with law enforcement, even when asked point blank. But then he's listed as Wanted by law enforcement when going for a simple loan. His life is a confused, disjointed mess, and he has no set path before him.

One thing at a time, he seems to stumble constantly like a child taking its first steps. He is a frequent flyer at the Pillbox, and yet after the second time accompanying him to the ER in a day's span, I watched, baffled, as he claimed that it was his first time ever being at the hospital. Every doctor and emergency medical person knew his name and told me that he compulsively lied about his visits all the time. Why would he continue such a deception? He obviously knows he's lying by the dubious tone of his voice when he says it. As if he's tasting the very words he's saying to see if they are right for his tongue.

Maybe he's just the world's worst con artist. Or perhaps he is truly lost in a world of delusion. But imagine if the history he tells everyone is a calculated lie, and his entire life is a deliberate falsehood. Could the Delusional Man be some sort of mastermind who has meticulously crafted this complex persona and plays into it so hard that it seems believable to everyone around him?

As I stare into his lonely eyes, I'm not sure. Los Santos has shown me deception and veracity at its very core, and I can't pick them apart. But I do know one thing about the Delusional Man that he cannot mask. He craves love in his life, thrives off it. He needs it. Without it, he is empty, a vessel that does not live, but simply exists.

Without it, I fear what he will become.

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