Brain Candy (The Burden of Intelligence)

I was in a local cafe this morning, getting my usual double espresso (used to be a macchiato, but try getting the hunchbacks at the espresso machine to understand the concept of a dollop of foam), when I noticed that my waitress was absolutely stunning. Perfect bone structure, creamy caramel skin, a hip-to-waist ratio that would make Hugh Hefner cry himself to sleep–she was perfect.

Naturally, I made every necessary assessment about her person that comes with such incredible beauty. She was stupid, gullible, vapid, and worthless. Even taking into account my usual distaste for conversing with people who work in the service industry, I was even less interested in talking to this woman. She certainly had nothing to offer me, and moreover, the idea of her opening her mouth and sharing actual thoughts would ruin her aesthetic value. She is to be seen, and not heard.

That being said, I cannot say that I don’t understand her plight. Surely the knowledge that we as a society are bound to hate her and mistrust her for her incredible genetic gift must be depressing, but she should take comfort in the knowledge (assuming she can read) that those of us who are just as blessed in the intellectual department feel the same sting of judgment.

Yes, I, too, have been the victim of the teeming, unwashed masses who subvert their jealousy of my intimidating mental capacity into grammatically-incorrect vitriol. I know what it feels like to see life as a never-ending series of obstacles constructed by my own incredible genetic luck. It is a bleak, sad, often frightening world when you realize that you may simply never overcome the most positive points of your personality.

People see me, see my veiny, pulsing forehead, almost bursting at the seams with knowledge and cunning that they will never posess and they immediately do everything in their limited power to make me suffer for my gifts. They glare with jealousy at my pale, sallow skin–knowing that my complexion no doubt stems from hours spent in rich mahogany studies, gathering morsels of truth and insight to which they will never be privvy. They assume that I must be evil, that I am insincere, that I don’t know how to have a good time. Although I can’t blame their assumptions on malice, as I would probably deal with the world in such simple terms, as well, if I didn’t understand it so well–they sting me nonetheless. I am a human, too. Look past my IQ, look past my Doctorate in applied mathematics, and you will see the soft, fragile, beating heart of another human being!

I know it can be distracting when I wear the wooly, rich cardigan and stoic glasses of a learned person, when I flaunt my superior mind in the most humiliating of ways, but don’t take it personally. I was given this gift by God (I’m using “God” here in a way to convey the awesome truths of the creation of the universe and its translation from the Big Bang all the way down to my personal conception in a way you will understand), and I only have a short time on this planet to appreciate it to its fullest potential.

So I looked at that physically perfect specimen setting my little cup and saucer down on my table, I briefly met her eyes in the most achingly real exchange of humanity, and I nodded my head slightly in acknowledgment that the world is difficult for me, too. She smiled, dimpling her cheek and putting the tiniest sparkle in her perfect blue eyes, and my heart nearly burst with compassion. I leaned in towards her, I breathed in slowly, I gathered up all of my most dear sentiments as I said, gently, “I ordered a double espresso, this is clearly a cafe creme–how hard could this job possibly be?”

I am so glad I am one of the smart ones. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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