The Price We Pay

There is a price you pay for great intelligence, sometimes.

Tonight, I was on the way home from town on the bus. Today, my thoughts were of my studies of Japanese and something I learned, along with a little exercise in computing numbers I was doing in my head. I was musing on my recent dreams, and planning my latest blog entries and my return to active blogging.

I wanted to tell someone about these sweet kanji I'd come across - 催眠、 催眠術 and 催眠術師。 "Saimin," "saiminjutsu" and "saiminjutsushi" - "hypnosis," "hypnotism" and "hypnotist." I really wanted to impress someone by saying 私は 催眠術師です。 "Watashi wa saiminjutsushi desu." I am a hypnotist. I wanted to talk about Pythagorean triples and the incredible combinations I was computing in my head using Euclid's Formula. I wanted to talk about gall bladder surgery and the fun things I did in hospital while recovering from the surgery. I wanted to talk about so many things.

And I stopped, and looked around. There was nobody I knew on the bus. Nobody I could relate to; talk to.

Nobody who could understand me.

At this point, a child said something. It took me a moment to realise that this innocent was actually asking me a question. She was asking me "Why have you got such sad eyes?"

I smiled, and told her that my dog had died last week. A convenient lie, which I hope she believed. It seems a more plausible explanation than the truth, which would be more complicated and far more existential. And later, I looked in the mirror back home just to see what sad eyes look like.

I make no bones about this fact; I am smart. Really smart. And the sad thing is, I sometimes suspect that I may be too smart. There are times when I can't even begin to communicate the things I am thinking about to other people. They just would not know where to begin to understand, and so I find myself having to hold back the frustration at the usual uncomprehending stares and blank looks. I have to remember compassion, even to people whom a less charitable, more judgmental mind would dismiss as idiots and cretins.

There is a price one pays for great intelligence, sometimes. I pay that great price, all the time. And I see that price every time I look in the mirror. And you could see it too, if you'd been on that bus tonight.

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"And if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long. Else the Puck a liar call ..."

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