It started when you were a kid. "Curious", they said. Then "bright." But you got the feeling that you were somehow "scary." Teachers were afraid of you. They sat you in the corner, reading, so they wouldn't have to deal with you. The other kids wondered what was wrong with you too. And you started to wonder. What is wrong with me?
Your solution is to be loved. They must value you, praise you, never find out what is wrong with you. You become the goofy one, the harmless one, the one that wouldn't hurt a fly. You learn when to laugh. When to smile. You cultivate jokes and learn to save the big words for your journal.
The journal is written in black ink, margin to margin, sometimes tearing through the page when you are too angry. This is where your fears go, underneath the protective glyphs and incantations: equations and words, graphs and definitions. Deducing, theorizing, Q.E.D.: This is what is wrong with me.
Later on, you figure it out. There's nothing wrong with you. There's something wrong with them. You are smart. They are stupid. The number, your IQ, (you snuck a look at it in your file) -- this number becomes the unspeakable name of God, for only you to know, your piece of the absolute. You develop pride, a sarcastic smirk. Untouchable. Invulnerable. Immortal.
At 19, you spend most of your time in your dorm room, reading Nietzsche.
The tension gets worse. More and more cigarettes, more and more coffee. You get shooting pains in your heart. Psychosomatic, one of those big words you learned the first time you read the OED.
You dream of a house. You are in the living room. You hear a humming, something approaching. The door is flung open by an intruder, an alien with huge void eyes, rushes in and snatches your arm. Bony fingers on your wrist as you wake up screaming.
This is a letter to you. And a question: What if, somewhere out there, there are others? Real understanding, from them, people who would really know you. People you could really talk to. But here's the catch: Once you are with them, once they love you, you are no longer untouchable. You lose your invulnerability. You become mortal. And you have to speak your secret name and unwind all of the wire around your heart.
It is your choice. We can leave right now.