I see him… I see him walk that line every day. You know, that line - the one that divides nations then rebuilds them. The line between genius and madness that divided Einstein from Hitler – upon which, he has no clear classification. An adolescent Kevorkian, he remains on the line, unable and refusing to take sides. His fluid steps don’t fool me. I see him stumble and fall flat on his face every single day. No one else sees this, only me, and only when we’re alone. He’ll go to complete an innocent task, perhaps turn on a lamp, maybe close the blinds, and I’ll see his mind sway from side to side…never settling, always swaying…teetering on that fencepost. A piece of wire will catch his eye, the gears will turn, and before anyone can blink he sprints to his room – emerging hours later with an improved version of the strobe light, or a theory for chemical immortality. The room will cheer and everyone will commend his genius – not even I could deny him that right. Before you know it, he’s slunk into his chair again – mind spinning (endlessly spinning), zoning out – an invariably apathetic look in his eyes. He’ll be as still as stone, but his mind will pick right up walking. Right down that line it goes. That line with no horizon. Falter too far to one side and his dreams are at risk. He could become like them, he fears, another societal drone. Fall off the other edge, and everything is at risk: his future, his potential, his sanity. So I let him rest on that fencepost, and hope no one else sees this high risk persona – and pray he never realizes how thin his line is.
June 1, 2008