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The Handicap Of Genius

By Bill C. Castengera All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Scifi

The Handicap Of Genius

He went through life, as one does. He was different, though. Childhood had been hard on him, the middle years worse. An above average intellect, they claimed, was responsible for his inability to cope in a way that the general population considered ‘normal.’ They were wrong.

‘Above average intellect’ insinuated that he was, in some small degree, smarter than his peers. He wasn’t. He was off the fucking charts. His peers were light years behind him.  Unfortunately, there had not been a scale that could track a rift that wide at the time.

Failing to connect with his peers was a small issue when it came right down to it.  He failed at very little, but the one thing in which he did fail, and is the real tragedy, is that he could not see anything from an emotional standpoint.  His mind was simply too analytical.

So, yeah, the middle school years were rough, since he couldn’t forge friendships.  High school was no better.  He had no dates for the prom, no one to go to the movies with, no friends.  From an outside perspective, it might have been a sad thing.  The magic in him sprang internally, though.  He was not concerned with perspectives–that was an emotional response and he simply couldn’t participate.

The internal perspective is what occupied him and separated the distinction between ‘above average’ and fucking brilliant.  To him, we were like insects wandering aimlessly in the dark, searching as a mosquito does, for light.  We catch intermittent glimpses of that light, rife with a nanosecond of understanding, and then suddenly we are thrust back into the darkness again.

The wattage of the light around him would have blinded us, burned out our retinas beyond any hope of repair, and pushing us immediately into a permanent darkness.  We would have been lobotomized, forever destined to drool from the corner of our mouths, platonic and incoherent, barely able to babble before ultimately pissing ourselves.  The point now, is clear.  He was beyond genius, beyond any definition of intelligence, beyond any man or machine-made test of intelligence, and certainly, in our infant-like comprehension of such matters and desire to fit things into clearly defined categories, we failed to recognize his capacity for what it truly was.  In this light, the blame of what happened after he entered adulthood is our burden to shoulder

When he rounded the corner into adulthood, he became dangerous. He was simply not relatable. He saw the world as geometric objects in three dimensional space. He negotiated the path he walked, not by observing the table, or chair, or sidewalk, but by calculating his speed and proximity in relation to these geometric objects with which he was required to occupy space. He knew the names of these objects, but they were only labels. He knew them as their base elements, understood the order of atoms that created their composition and mentally trashed the labels assigned to them by inferior men.

Adulthood was the turning point. He began to mumble to himself. Already long outcast from a normal existence, he was no longer viewed as an eccentric. His disposition began to be viewed as farther off the beaten path than what could be neatly categorized as extreme eccentricity. In short, people feared him. He looked unpredictable. 

He let himself go. He would often go weeks without a shower, and never cleaned his living space, focusing instead on how the dust particles in his small apartment reacted to temperature and atmospheric change. He watched how they moved when he disturbed the airflow by walking through them, saw the natural spiral, related to the Fibonacci sequence of natural order and physics. He often forgot to eat, and his cheeks became sunken and his skin seemed to lay on him like an empty blanket. He was a horror to look at.

Into his forties, this scenario played, until his brain shut down. Like a supernova, his mental capacity had flourished, peaked, then burned out. The bulb had radiated the brightest light; it’s brightest had been blinding but now it was on a downward trend and began to dim at a dramatic rate as if expended all at once in perfection, but too much to sustain longevity. The intelligence of most people work on a long arc, a sort of bell curve. His chart was more like a steep ramp and then a cliff. The chart’s line shot down dramatically in his mid-forties, and his intellectual mind fell well below that of his peers. 

He still mumbled to himself, but now it was simple babble. He could barely make a coherent statement, barely able to communicate his wants and needs to others. People felt sorry for him and wanted to help him. He finally began to get the interaction that had been denied to him before, because, strangely, people were much more comfortable with mental handicap than they were with mental superiority. It was weird, though, and there must have been comprehension on a subconscious level, because to the outside observer, and based on their perspective, he had not changed at all.

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