While talking to us, they look at themselves with infatuated eyes. Sometimes, as happens to people in love, they lose track of the conversation. They always liked me, because my adult aversion to my physical appearance made me automatically turn my back to whatever mirror I found. And so they treated me well, for they instinctively recognized that I was the good listener who would always let them show off and have the pulpit.
As a group they weren't so bad; as individuals, some were better and some were worse. They had tender and generous feelings that an observer of average behaviour would never expect, mean and petty attitudes that a normal human being would hardly imagine. Pathetic, envious and self-deluded - that sums them up, and the same words would sum up whatever part of this milieu has infiltrated the work of worthy men who happened to get caught for a time in its mire.[...]
Some are witty, others have nothing but wit, and still others don't exist. Cafe wit may be divided into jokes about those who are absent and jibes at those who are present. This kind of wittiness is known elsewhere as mere vulgarity. There's no greater proof of an impoverished mind than its inability to be witty except at other people's expense. [...]"
From The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
It's very interesting book, made up of fragments, that I read on the tube every other day.