I love to copy. I have to copy. It is all I have known for as long as I can remember. It is my natural setting to mimic those around me. I have to fit in, I have to belong and the most effective way for me to achieve this is to replicate everything that I come into contact with. If I interact with an esteemed academic I will listen to his or her achievements and then pass those off as my own as I peel away their glittering accolades and apply them to myself. Should I spend time with an exceptional sporting individual then their record-breaking endeavours will be purloined for my benefit and sported as my own in furtherance of my own belief in my exceptional ability. Author? Yes I have written books too. Model? Yes I do some modelling from time to time. Chef? You should try my signature dish, it is heavenly. Everyone I have dealings with presents me with an opportunity to copy an element of their personality. character or personae so that I may then present it as my own and in so doing I shine brighter and become an even more attractive prospect to those whose lives I effortlessly infiltrate.
This skill at mimicry enables me to ghost in and out of people’s lives. I know the social norms which are applicable and through careful examination and application I am able to pass as one just like you. I am a facsimile of a decent, personable and engaging individual and this allows me access to my targets without raising any alarms. My veneer of respectability has been fashioned from all those that I engage with, gathering patches, fragments, shards and pieces until they are hewn together and I drape it about me allowing me to come and go as I please.
It is however with you that I exhibit the astonishing mimicry of which I am a master. Once I have selected you as my target I have learned much about you already. With what will eventually be recognised as alarming ease, I replicate a fondness for all those things which you like and a distaste for all those things that you dislike. Think back and you will readily recall how I love horse-riding just as you did, that I enjoyed swimming in open water just like you and my passion for the works of Geoffrey Chaucer matched yours. Those interests which were close to you became interests that were close to me. Your appreciation of an excellent bottle of Chateau Margaux was matched by my ability to remember the applicable tasting notes and recite them to you as if it was my own appreciation. I would mimic the way you sat, copying your body language because I know, from extensive practice that this paves the way to bonding with you. I would mimic your speech patterns to form a sub-conscious link between us. I liked blue because you liked blue. I found listening to soul music an offence to my ears but I maintained a false enjoyment of it since you liked it so much. I actually enjoy choosing from the Crustacea bar but your dislike of seafood meant that I too turned lobster and oysters away. How often did you remark aloud, to me or to your friends,
“We have so much in common.”
“We like so many of the same things it is wonderful.”
“We share so many interests, I love it.”
“We are so well matched. On every level. We really are soulmates.”
Of course we are. I made it so because I wanted to be everything you wanted. I took your long list of likes and dislikes, your catalogue of loves and hates and your grimoire of hopes and fears and I copied each and every page. I am a walking photocopier and I copied everything you wanted in order to ensure that my seduction of you was successful, encompassing and absolute.
Yet, my astonishing powers of mimicry did not end there. Goodness me no, there was more yet to come. In a particularly unpleasant twist to this malevolent skill of mine I would mimic your responses to my devaluation of you but this time it would not be a complete facsimile, I would make a slight change to my copying so that you would be undermined even further.
When you stood there crying with frustration and I drank deep of the delicious fuel you provided me, I would raise my hands to my eyes and draw pretend tears on my cheeks and make a sobbing noise to humiliate you further. Here I was letting you know that I copied everything that went before yet now I copy again but not with the perfection I once exhibited. I allow the sting of sarcasm and the malicious mockery to infiltrate my copying of your behaviour so that your hurt and bewilderment was increased. You would shout at me and I would shout back using the exact words before standing and laughing at you as you burned with frustration, unable to find any response. You might stamp your feet in exasperation and I would do the same but with a leer of disdain writ large across my face.
There were times when you would scream. A terrified scream as my vicious manipulations would take their toll and as you tried to curl into a ball and hope you might just disappear and escape this nightmare, I would lean in close to you and mimic your scream into your ear, creating this fabricated falsetto of distress in order to further your own. Every reaction to my devaluation of you had the potential to be met by a mimicked reply from me in order to further your misery and demonstrate I did not treat your responses with any sincerity or concern.
I am the master of mimicry, the king of copying and the duke of duplication. I am a walking and talking photocopier machine. I put the rank in Rank Xerox.