The trouble with close up was there was no way of hiding the truth.
His flaws shone through like the proverbial dog’s balls. His philosophy of everything was from a distance only went so far, and it was a way of keeping everyone at arm’s length.
The issue was more than his physical limitations which were sizeable, to say the least. His face with its pock marks, his bad teeth and breath were reason enough to stay at a safe distance.
But his personality was nothing to write home about. His social skills were all but non-existent, and his ability to hold down a conversation in some intelligible way was restricted the longer you stood by him and realised you had arrived at the limit of his social ability some twenty minutes earlier.
But despite all that some people who saw past his limitations saw a man who was capable of great good and whose compassion for others and understanding of issues made him a crutch to lean on and many did on numerous occasions.
He could recognise the frailties in others. Not only that but he was non-judgemental of them. He could listen and simply understand them and then work out ways in which the person in question might be able to function and succeed.
His success in this way did nothing to help him overcome his personal afflictions. Those he helped went away feeling better in themselves but who felt nothing towards the man who had helped them achieve what they had.
He went home alone, he spent days and weeks if not months wondering why all the women he dealt with saw nothing in him apart from his professional help.
He did make an overture towards a woman who worked in another department, but she shrank in horror at the thought of doing anything with him apart from passing the time of day. Her retreat reinforced his belief he was meant to be alone, that relationship beyond the professional was to be denied to him.
Up close, if they bothered to look, was a man broken, lonely and like everyone else in need of love.