This is Glenn Gould playing J.S. Bach’s Parita #2.

I spent entirely too much of my life attempting to be a genius. Wanting to be great. Wanting to be something people talked about forever. Something my father would say to his friends, “I honestly don’t know where he gets that kind of talent.” Something my Mother would say, “I don’t get it, but everyone loves you.” My theatre school should propose a mandatory, ritual upon entering class. First, come off the shoes, then a bow to my picture resting near another picture of William Shakespeare. His would be framed, straight, a head-shot where you see his earring. Mine, creased, tilted, on a porch, drinking coffee in a loose fitting grey cardigan, looking away from the camera. My greatest fear is being like everyone else. That’s it! I did not want to be like everyone else. I wanted to say the lines differently than anyone else said them in the history of acting. So when we did scenes from A Street Car Named Desire and Stella ran upstairs, slamming her French doors with a BANG! I would lose myself, lay onto the floor like I was disappearing into the cracks of the earth and whisper, “Stella.” A still, but studied face scanning the floor for answers, like a blind man that knows he’s not alone in a room, my voice rising slightly, “Stella.” Which is why so many of my College Professors would say, “I don’t know what you’re doing.” So many of my fellow students would say, “You’re creepy.” So many Du Maurier Lights I smoked watching myself in a mirror nodding and smiling, wearing different hats, thinking, “i understand you.” I blame pot and magic mushrooms. Who put it in my head to yearn for strife, struggle, clever artistry? To do something nobody’s ever done. An action, making the richest man nod and the poorest man cry. Worst part is. I can’t shake it. I can’t. It’s not about getting over myself. It’s that i think i have a chance. As a kid, I’d sit in the backseat of my Dad’s ’83 Jetta, staring out a rolled down window on the highway, my Dad, “Close the fucking window, what are you a moron!?!” No dad. I wanted to stare at the lamp lights, with squinted eyes, tilting my head to the right, then back, to the right, then back, because squinting make the lights look like stars, and tilting (then back), makes them dance. I was the younger brother; the middle son. I sat in the backseat inhaing my dad’s Du Maurier’s. How alone was I? Let me put it to you like this. Mom and Dad didn’t know i needed glasses till grade three. I bombed 2nd and 1st. I couldn’t see the blackboard. I never understsood when Mrs. Rimer would say “Take out your homework.” What fucking homework? I never understood how other kids new about this. She had it written at the bottom left hand corner of the blackboard. My Dad, “How do you not have fucking homework!?” Mrs. Rimer, “I tell him to check the black board!” Thinking I had a hearring disability they gave me to some specialists who put me in a padded room with huge earphones, where i was instructed to raise my hand upon hearing a beep. If you heard it in your left ear… left hand. Right ear… right. This was my chance. I had already screwed up once; not being able to see the blackboard. I was not going to screw up twice. When i hear the beep I’ll raise my hand. If i don’t hear a beep, I’ll raise my hand anyway.

“This boy can hear a .002 frequency!”
“That’s impossible.”
“Test him again.”
“Look at his hand!”
“A miracle!”
“A superboy!”
“Morse code the FBI”
“Send a letter to the CIA.”
“Phone the President.”
“Email NASA.”
“Text message his parents.”
“He can probably hear us.”
“He raised his hand!”

3 thoughts on “Genius”

  1. I cheated on that hearing test too, (but not as well as you did) … and my parents forgot my birthday in third grade! … fucking middle children: we are Fuct. lol.

  2. I bow down to your picture everyday – the one of you in a second hand black suit, uneven, yellow tie, and bandaid on your finger. You are the only person I know like you, and I am convinced I will never meet another that will come close to comparing. Thank you for teaching me that being different isn’t just weird, and creepy…it’s fucking funny too!

  3. dude: that was the funniest fewkin’ thing I read in a long, long time. damn near pee’d my pants ‘hearing’ your pops screaming at you to close the window.
    ahhh, such is life.

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Elan Zafir’s misemployment of the run-on sentence

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