Pardon my intellect

I am sometimes told that I am intelligent. It was especially so when I was young. I suppose that is a good thing.

I have a wonderful friend. Bill is autistic. He, like me, has difficulties with the understanding of “feelings”. He might say something that is hurtful, or inappropriate. If he does, it is only because of the difference of the way that he thinks. You see, Bill is a really good man. He is kind and he is caring.

He remembers what shirt I wore to Thanksgiving in 1987. He remembers my Road Runner, its red stripes, and the size of its engine. Were it not for Bill, I might have forgotten that I ever had it. I enjoy the times that we spend together – especially when we are completely alone. I suppose in some ways, Bill is less intelligent than me. I suppose, too that in some ways I am less intelligent than Bill. We are all different. We are each unique. Thank God that it is so.

My siblings are intelligent. My beloved sister was well known, a great writer, speaker, and medical doctor. My brother is a “rocket scientist” who works on the outer-edges of aerospace engineering. He has a pocket protector and glasses. He holds sixty some patents of complex components and methodologies. He is, probably, a genius.

My sister came to believe, as she wintered over at the South Pole station in Antartica, that society requires each of us to exist. She noticed that a group of similar people, vetted for psychological stability, morphed into differing societal types, once the doors closed on the rest of the world.

Like my mother, a great poet, I write. I always have. In my writing, I often select science on the edge of understanding, or a piece of understanding where I believe the truth to be other than the generally accepted. It is the things that are missing that engage me. Those are the most important.

It is ok for Bill to be autistic. I suppose that he might have it otherwise, I would not. It is ok for some to be like my brother. If we were all the same, what a terrible world that would produce. My sister would say “we each are needed by society equally”. I agree.

If I was a window washer, as I was yesterday, I would be a horrible window washer, running inside and outside as I noted a smudge always on the other side into near infinity.

A mind like mine, must move. It must devour and churn away. It keeps my body up at night, calculating the exterior surface of cones three different ways, for no reason at all – just because it is bored. I would be ineffective as a window washer, like Einstein in the patent office.

All of us are equal. It is such a seemingly simple statement made by an imperfect man at a spindly oak desk at Monticello.

Society is a jigsaw puzzle. The whole is lacking if any piece is missing. It is ok for some to be “wired” differently. To the world, to society, all men are, indeed, equal.

I have apologized for the things that interest me, and the kind of mind that I have, for not caring about football or wrestling, or NASCAR, for the books I carry. I have pretended, even, to be something I am not, to placate, to fit in.

I imagine that Bill, when not alone in my mom’s study, must do the same, mimicking “normal”, pretending interest. What a shame, that society fails to embrace the magical disparity of interest and intellect, the vast array of wiring of our magical minds.

Scott Cahill