Polymathic Time: or How Obsession and Eccentricity Spread Me Thick

I have been told that I cannot just call myself a genius. Naturally, that should lead you to suspect that at one point in my life I may have indicated aloud to someone that I am, in fact, a genius. Well, perhaps I have, but that’s not the point.  “Genius” is just a word, and whether or not my intelligence quotient exceeds accepted cut-offs for the “genius” label is irrelevant to both my life and anyone’s perception of who I am and what i am capable of. We like to give things labels – that’s a chair, he’s a communist, those people are stupid. That’s fine, but we are often guilty of leaving it at that. Is it just a chair, or is it a chaise longue? Is he a communist, or just not a fan of capitalism? Are they stupid or just completely oblivious to the things that you convince yourself are important?

I am a polymath. I write, I compose, I create. I have an appreciation for and an intense fondness for pure art – which to me is simply the creation of something that did not exist before. I have more than just surface knowledge of physics, biology, mathematics, and computer technology. I am a willing student of world history including Chinese, European, and American histories. I am fascinated with the various mythologies of Scandinavia, Greece, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. I immerse myself in the portions of modern culture that I have found to be most pleasing – I am a competent authority on Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and the Silver Age of Marvel Comics. I am immersed in the entire history of video games, from Pong to Skyrim and Air to Zork. I worship speculative fiction, but am well-read in nearly all genres of literature. I find pleasure in listening to jazz, electronica, psychedelic rock, and classical music. I am a competent musician and have yet to discover a musical instrument that I cannot eventually work into the eternal symphony that I write in my head (except the Ondes Martenot – but that’s only because i cannot find one). This is who I am.

Just outside the day to day activities I find myself engaged in, whether from necessity or desire, these polymathic urges pulsate just behind the curtain of my consciousness. I am easily distracted and have been known to waste an entire day at my job reading articles on neuropsychopharmacology to flesh out ideas for therapeutic implanted intelligences, or playing an emulation of  Pick Axe Pete, or molding a sound wave into a depiction of the sound of grinding molars as heard from inside the head of a madman. Once into a subject, I find it difficult to pull myself away from it – like a Butlerian disassembling a thinking machine, I will tear a concept apart to its roots and still not be satisfied. Beyond that obsession for details and data, I regulate my journeys of discovery with what can only be described as ridiculous eccentricities and hangups. I could not just read Marvel Comics, I had to read all of them, starting with Fantastic Four #1 and moving forward in order by publication date. I could not just read Kurt Vonnegut, or John Irving, or Isaac Asimov – I had to start at their beginnings with obscure short pieces that barely got published, are no longer in print, or are just extremely difficult to find because they aren’t that good. I cannot begin a television series in the middle, and will absolutely refuse to watch things out of order ever. Book series, especially those that allow a number of authors to operate in a shared universe, are a particular difficulty for me. I want to read them in order by continuity, but often a new novel will be released from a period of time before the ones I have already read. It’s enough to drive me mad.

And it does.

And that is why I am a writer.

There is no other way to combine all of those polymathic pursuits into a tangible act of creation. Music alone lacks detail in the void of darkness, a painting cannot capture the press of silence or the cacophonic assault of psychosis on the unwilling the way the written word does. The point of creation – the nanosecond of conjuration from vision to thought to word – is the singularity of the black hole of my consciousness as it consumes all data from my experiences and my environment. I consume, I transform, and I create at a pinpoint of infinite density and light – and from the other side a universe is forged, a universe that I pushed into existence into a void of nothingness.

At thirty-four years old, I find myself the recipient of another label. I am “getting older” and there are things that it is “too late” to do, according to some. I cannot be a neuroscientist or an astronaut. I won’t ever be a hockey superstar or an emperor. The Olympic Games are out of reach for me and I’ll never lead an army into battle.


I am human. Of all the labels that might ever be applied to me, that is the only one that matters, because it says “unpredictable and curious”. I may be spread thin by my obsessions and my eccentricities, but time is relative and through my creativity I breach the frontiers that a culture of time sets before me. I can be eternal, and I am not alone. I am everyone. And I am curious.

I am a writer.

How can I not be?


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