The Smart Guy
There once was a boy people said was very smart. The boy, of course, believed them, and the smarter they said he was, the smarter he tried to become, switching TV for books, and video games for mathematics. He enjoyed it, or at least he believed that he did. His intelligence became an identity, a straitjacket that gripped him, leaving no space to breathe. He found that he only had friends as long as he wasn’t talking, and it wasn’t until he was much, much older, that he realized exactly what he had to say to make friends.
Somewhere along the way, he realized he wasn’t as smart as people thought he was. This worried him, because there was nothing else he was good for. But he kept up the charade, until people slowly began to find out. As they did, he did smarter and smarter things, like a firecracker that gives off its last few sparks before dying. He knew, though, that none of it came from him, that it was all from some book he read or some video he saw. He knew that his intelligence was not a gift, gladly given, but lovingly taken; from everywhere he went, he collected knowledge.
And that’s when he realized that he wasn’t the smart person anymore, he was the knowledge gatherer. As he realized this, the straitjacket that bound him loosened, and then transformed, into a loose, well-fitting trench coat. And then he thought he was happy, until he met his best and oldest friend, who was who was one of the only smart people he knew. He found that for everything that he could tell his friend, from his vast cave of knowledge, and pass it off as his own, his friend could produce something else, a thought of his very own, that seemed to outshine the knowledge gatherer’s stolen ideas. And as the knowledge gatherer told his friend, slowly and softly, that he was no smart person, his friend smiled, and then chuckled, and then looked at him, and said, “Neither am I”