A/N: Another of my off-the-cuff oneshots inspired by an episode quote. This one is based on a line from Inert Dwarf (the first sentence in the story). The story contains minor spoilers for the ep, but not really anything revealing
Disclaimer: Not mine So totally not mine.
"My mother always said, be happy you're not a genius - it makes for a lonely life."
That's what she said to me today, as we were closing our case. She had a wry look on her face, as if she were amused by the thought of all those pathetic geniuses roaming the world.
I barely managed to restrain myself from telling how right her mother really was.
I've been labeled a "genius," and based on the common IQ scale, I guess I am one. Unfortunately, no criminal I've ever gone after has produced a pattern of shapes and told me to pick the next one in the series. Neither has any prospective boss who's interviewed me or any woman I've dated, for that matter.
The IQ scale can go fuck itself, as far as I'm concerned. It's never done me a bit of good. Yeah, I'm perfectly aware that I'm more . . . well, I guess the word I'd use would be "clever" . . . than most people. Sure. My career history is testament to that.
However, I've always felt that if I were a real genius, I'd have control over my life. After all, with such a large brain, you'd think a genius would be able to plan out everything logically, and therefore not have to bother with those pesky errors that plague ordinary folk.
John Manotti must have missed that day of genius class; I know I did.
. . . Man, I should know better than to drink alone on a low self-esteem day. Once I start thinking about my screw-ups, it just goes downhill from there with every drink I have.
Once or twice, I've dragged Lewis out with me on nights like this, but Lewis, for all his mechanical talent, considers himself dumb and finds the idea of a high IQ tantalizing. He tends to try to joke me out of my funk, and that usually just ends with me being in a funk and pissed off. Not the best state to be in under the best of circumstances, but it's even worse when it's two o'clock in the morning and you're standing in the middle of a sidewalk in the Village arguing with your best friend.
Which is why I opted to drink at home tonight. At least this way I can fall into bed and sleep it off with minimal effort, and without getting into a fight with anybody.
I look down at the tumbler in my hands. The glass it's made of is faceted so that if I turn it in the light, I get an almost prismatic effect, and it's half-full of bourbon,. Ten minutes ago, it was completely full.
This is number four, I think.
"Ignorance is bliss." I don't know if Alex's mother ever used that one, but if she didn't, she should have. I mean, if she was going to opine on geniuses, she should really have ensured that she had the topic thoroughly covered. Hey, I don't know if I can speak for any other geniuses, but for me, there are a lot of days that I'd much prefer to have an IQ of one hundred. If I did, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't occur to me to be unhappy most of the time.
But when you're intelligent . . . it's entirely too easy to understand things.
Like, for example, a mentally ill mother. "My mom sometimes thinks she sees people who aren't there." That's easy to swallow, right? And for anyone but a psychological professional, it ought to be all they need to know to get the gist of her problem. But of course, someone with such an oh-so-vast cranial capacity as I have couldn't stop there. No, they'd have to read books, and ask questions, and observe. And they'd end up with an understanding more along the lines of, "My mom is schizophrenic, which means that she suffers from a neurochemically-induced psychosis causing hallucinations, delusions or false beliefs, and possible aphasiac speech."
That's a little scary, especially to someone who knows what all those words mean. I would so much rather go back to the idiot-proof definition.
It's not always about words, though. Take, for instance, this common enough situation: boy meets girl; boy likes girl. Where does "boy" go from there? Well, it depends. If "boy" is your average human male, he'd probably hem and haw for a bit, feeling nervous about the fact that "girl" might reject him, and then either ask her out or move on.
If "boy" is a much-vaunted genius, however, his line of thought is more likely to be along the lines of "I should ask her out . . . but what if she says 'no'? After all, maybe she thinks we don't have anything in common, that I'm just a brain on legs. Maybe she isn't attracted to me. And what if she says 'yes,' anyway? That would probably mean a few nice dates before she gets tired of my silences and my hopscotch-style story-telling. Or she'd meet someone else and drop me for him. Or she'd actively dislike my personality, and we'd end up in fight after fight. Hell, the truth is that no matter where it goes from there, if I ask her out I'm going to end up in a situation where she and I can no longer co-exist, be it from embarrassment or anger. It's probably better to just not ask her at all. After all, that way I can still watch her and interact with her, and not risk anything while doing it."
Damn. That example just got way too biographical.
I cut myself off from that line of thought and stare back down into my drink. What was I thinking about before I got off on that tangent?
Oh, right. How understanding breeds unhappiness. It can really be put in terms of a general rule I can fit into a few sentences: if there's a line of reasoning to be taken, a genius will take it. Useful for solving crimes, but really, really not useful when it comes to things like normal social interactions. People get uncomfortable when you pause to process all possible outcomes before doing anything - from reacting to an insult all the way down to deciding whether to have eggs or waffles for breakfast (because eggs have more protein and may lead to a short-term energy boost, but waffles have less saturated fat and are less likely to lead to long-term cardiac problems, of course).
Chops Cozza didn't hide it well when he did it. I probably don't hide it too well when I do it, either. Sometimes it scares me that I share quite a few personality traits with the clinical definition of psychopathy.
Damn it, I am not a psychopath.
Down goes the rest of drink number four in response to that thought.
Ok, so maybe I'm a little bit schizoid. I think all people of high intelligence are, for exactly the reasons I've been ruminating on tonight. It gets tiring trying to keep up with a conversation when your brain is racing nonstop to keep you supplied with words and reactions. Eventually you just decide that it's not worth the effort in a lot of situations.
It's why I'm a good cop. My line of work is one of the few in which overthinking is actually beneficial. Some of the crimes I've solved were so convoluted that I don't think the connection would ever have been made if I - or someone else - hadn't happened upon the one, crazy avenue of deduction where everything fit.
So the very things that make me a good cop make me a bad everything else. Certainly a bad candidate for a relationship with a woman; most of them either can't or aren't willing to handle my . . . idiosyncrasies.
Of course, there is one woman who takes my behavior in stride. In fact, a lot of the time she seems more amused by it than anything else.
Which brings me right back to my genius-meets-girl example.
With a groan, I grab the bottle on the floor next to me and pour drink number five.