Sunday, October 28, 2007

So, You Wanna Be a Genius!

Have you seen Wile E. Coyote lately? Probably not as often as you saw him when you were a kid, right? Well, there's a reason for that. He's retired. Wile E. was a hard-working coyote, placing himself in dangerous and precarious situations day after day all for naught. The one thing he created his maddened-ingenious contraptions for (the roadrunner) ended up being a cartoon character, much like himself, created solely for the purpose of bringing pleasure to the creator - and this somewhat peeved the big-earred desert canine. Thinking he would actually never actually catch his meal, or that he may or may not be able to satisfy himself once he did - he quit. I don't blame him. I may have been convinced to do the same thing once. I thought I had to be in Hollywood making money and doing all the Hollywood things you do in order to make it big - but it didn't pan out that way. Instead, I wound up coming to my senses, coming back home, making a little family - raising that little family, and now, well, it seems I'm a lot happier just being the writer that I am.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm still a certified, bona fide, over-the-top genius, having a majorly high I.Q. of over 170 (last I checked it was hovering in the 180 range) but that doesn't mean I have a lick of good sense. Never have! In fact, in all the years I've been able to join Mensa I haven't because they just didn't seem to be much fun. I went through the testing, got the results - was flooded with invites to parties, but you know what I found there? Math! I found MATH at these parties. I'm not into numbers, MATH to me is a 4-letter word. That's it - I'm into words - I was asking my good friend Niki today if she could explain the difference between the two words Epistemology and Etymology...because they are similar, but so very different. We talked for about an hour on the subject (drinking gin and finally realizing it didn't matter much anyway), and we just giggled and called ourselves geeks.

There are absolute genius minds out there that go bonkers, you've seen that on T.V., and the truth about so many mega-brainiacs having a slightly larger skull, or bug eyes, it's true - some do....Math people! Those of us (Nike included) who are language geniuses - we look almost completely normal most of the time, and you'd think we were really unintelligent if you asked us to figure out an equation to prove our ultra smartiness - we don't make graphs, we don't come up with formulas, we don't make decisions based on physics, probabilities, or outcome - in fact, we probably shouldn't be trusted to make decisions at all; we're romantics! Can you imagine what the world would be like if Hemingway made decisions about our military or the use of chemicals? Wow! Or hey, what if Edgar Allan Poe was expected to be a great leader - HHAHHHAHAA...oh, that made my side hurt, wait...I retract that last thought.

The truth is, there are several types of genius, just because we score well on tests that match shapes, deal with perceptions, or have logical patterns - doesn't make us worthy of pedestals. I could probably, if I had to, write a poem about it, make up a great fantasy, throw in a twist, create a dragon whose breath (when tempered with pixie dust) created new foliage or streams teeming with fish - but don't ask me to calculate velocity, or to even follow the reasoning behind pushing Daylight Savings Time back a day or so before Halloween - the one holiday that needs a last bit of natural illumination for kids to celebrate in safety. No, ask me to draw you a word picture. Ask me to whisper a medieval fantasy of poetry, lace, and stone castles in your ears - ask me to stir the tangerine skies with azure feathers, but never expect me to explain space, volume, mass, or energy - I can't do that.

What do you do with a genius who can't draw stick figures? Where to do you categorize a presence with power, endless intellect, but no common sense? You show them the path to the local public library, the coffee house, or the bookstore, and you allow the dream to replace the reality - for everyone.

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