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Dumb

“Las herejías que debemos temer son las que pueden confundirse con la ortodoxia.”
The heresies to be feared are those that may be confused with orthodoxy.
    ~ Jorge Luis Borges, “Los teólogos” (“The theologians”), Los Anales de Buenos Aires, April 1947

The real mistake was
Placing us two at the same learning center
In the too-busy classroom
That had nothing to teach us
As we endlessly talked
Usually fascinating conversation from her side
And stupefied remarks from mine
Until the teacher
Typically wearing a revealing outfit
At which she’d giggle from our center
Led us out into the hall
Swatted our palms with a ruler
Just like every weekday

She saw the treatment I got for
Knowing the answers
Solving the problems
Speaking like the national news
Discussing science
Making up my own games
Not playing everyone else’s
Not fitting
And decided what was smart
Was to act dumb
And she probably told me so
To which if I was really smart
I would’ve said we become what we appear
We reap what we sow
Whoever seems stupid will soon enough be stupid
Particularly as her brain was still developing
But I was
Too dumb
So try as I might
I scarcely now can remember
Whether I might have agreed about the sensibility of her plan
Even whether I realized the effect of what she was about to do

She never had a class with me again
No physics analytic geometry calculus or British lit
Though I’d see her in the halls once in awhile
Over the years
There were no more interesting conversations
Since she hardly could have been thinking
Whether she tried or not
Even whether she had anything worthwhile to say

Maybe she’s the smart one
For stress plagues the aware
Who needs all that thinking anyway
And who can say
If I’d both known in time and intervened
Or taken the same direction
Whether the world would or wouldn’t be quite so dumb

Thanks always returns

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