I'm a brains girl. Some like brawn or buns. I like brains. The more convoluted the better.
There are those who mistake me for smart because I like 10-dollar words, learn some on occasion, and even use them correctly half of the time. I've read a few outdated books and been around the block. But really, I'm not an intellect, a fact that is screamingly obvious for those who enjoy on a regular basis the truly genius notions of folk like Emily and the Banannie at Aa. Oh, I'd like to be brilliant, but I have neither the time nor, perhaps, the capacity, so I press on as I am, thankful to be in the occasional company of the genuinely erudite.
I came across one such fellow in my last year of college. This unnamed lad was a few years younger but had a "To serve man" forebrain. We got on swimmingly, but I was engaged, so it could only be platonic... though had I not been engaged this dude's brain would have wooed me for certain. I barely understood a word he said, which enamoured me. At any rate, we spent long hours together in 2 A.M. coffee houses torturing literature and subject.
To the sensible it poses a boring nightmare, yet in that space and time it was our rapture. The devil's advocate, he too-frequently challenged my feelings and perceptions surrounding my impending marriage. It both intrigued and annoyed me but, due to his tremendous intellect, mainly teetered on the edge of provocativeness.
We'll call him the Admiral. It was fitting and thus was he dubbed.
One sudden day he informed me that he would be leaving. "Goodbye," was all he said. Until that point we had been thick as theives going everywhere, doing everything together. As if a wand waved he disintegrated. A literal "poof!" in thin air. He left no contact information. None whatever. I found it curious and unfulfilling.
Years later I stumbled upon an online list of mind-numbing literature read by the Admiral under the direction of his swollen cerebrum. I ventured an email and came pixel to pixel with the Admiral once again. So much had happened in my life, but first and foremost I wanted to know why, when he had spent months grilling me on my youth and engagement, he had neglected to inform me of his own simultaneous engagement. You see, the Admiral left our fair city to wed his long-time fiance! He was long gone before this information finally found me.
There was no explanation really. Only that the wedding was lovely, the vows in Gaelic, the end. It sufficed; I was too laden with matters of consequence to care. In a brief reintroduction, he offered a small slice of current events: he was in med school studying to be a pediatrician. Of all things, a pediatrician.
Not much else. He was wooden and guarded as I told him a bit of my illness-related fate. I provided the url to my website and bid him what felt like an eternal farewell.
A day later I received a lingering, passionate email.
It seems he and his darling, freshly-married, were graced with an unplanned pregnancy, one that they perceived as a threat to their professional and perhaps emotional future. It was decided that the child had come too soon, and so the child was turned away in an early, surgical abortion. Uncharacteristically, the Admiral was permitted to attend, that is to say... he was present. He described in detail the procedure and the concurrent incomprehensible mix of revulsion and emasculation that he experienced. He watched as his child was liquified and aspriated, and this effectively ended the Admiral's life.
All at once, he became a survivor. It was nothing the intelligent doctor-to-be could have foreseen.
An only child, his parents had both died while he was still young. High school if I recall correctly. He lived on his own for a while, an avid cyclist, camping in the woods, providing his own medical care, eccentric genius that he was.
Abortion touched him in a place he did not know existed. His child was a light in the dark, a fact that had not been illumined until abortion extinguished vibrant rays. And what was left was darker than anything before.
Vowing never ever again to be rendered so helpless, and feeling unfit, the Admiral, a secret rarity, stole away and underwent permanent sterilization. His wife was none the wiser. He was ruined and spent and suicide was his aim. You'd have to know him to understand that this was not the cliche cry for help but mere information, notice of intent. Distressed, my subtle, wiley attempts at mooring him to life met only with sealing portals.
One sudden day he informed me that he would be leaving. "Goodbye," was all he said.
:: ashli 5:42 PM # ::