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The humanity of nerds

“...a third-year medical student... discovered he no longer had a shoulder.”
    ~ Anne Pinckard, “Blogger heal thyself: Days at med school, nights on Net” in Stanford News (2006)

If all is fair in love and war and getting by through life,
If all are equal on the job, in study, and at play,
If you can marry your career or be somebody’s wife
By looking like those TV girls and saying what they say,
Then who’s this guy so out of reach; whatever is his strife
That he won’t hold your gaze, so occupied is his whole day?

You think he’s hardly human: you imagine he’d agree
There’s nothing there to cry on, nor a heart within to feel
Compassion toward a friend, dispassion toward an enemy,
Or passion toward a woman — as if he can’t love for real.
You think his brain is silicon, just lifeless circuitry;
You think that everything he touches turns to stainless steel

So friable are all the things he’s analyzed to death
They never shall corrode, yet they can’t help him in the hunt
For soul imbuing all those many pieces parts with breath.
You’d better flee before he touches you since — let’s be blunt —
You fear he’ll find there’s nothing to you but your daylong style
Shaved legs, flat abs, smooth hair, a pretty face, a smelly cunt

But nothing to discuss that won’t be boring in awhile.
He’ll find himself some deeper thrill; your heart will bear the brunt
Of his indifference and scorn — no, better to suppose
He’ll never notice you nor any human heart at all
While there’s no life nor heart within. Why not right now compose
This plan: if he can’t fall in love, he very well should fall

Right off the spire of his contempt for others of the race —
The rest of us who smile, say yes, lie, kowtow, fuss and flirt,
Yet being but a flirt you’ll engineer his fall from grace:
You’ll happen to him, warm him up, then really make him hurt.
It’s easy finding what to say to that pale, too-smug face
That’s asking for a brick but getting harder verbal dirt

The day you execute your plan — how fine that day shall be!
In being one more victim, he’ll no longer stand with pride
But join the club of losers and accept humanity
Just being, for once, human. You’ll be proud to stand beside
Or even over him so all the world can gladly see
The evening of odds makes darkness lighter to abide.

But when the nighttime comes, will you be any less alone?
Will you have made a friend or shown your love or raised the dead?
When day returns, what comes of the humanity you’ve shown?
The news shows yet more victims, more dispassion, more to dread
Than one nerd’s deeper anomie caused by your choice to own
What passes for humanity nowhere but in your head.

Imagine you’d convinced him of his lovability:
How square he’d be, convinced to love in turn pure vanity:
Shaved legs, flat abs, smooth hair, a face that could be on TV —
Thank heaven nerds are saved a fall for your inanity
And you, who hold back heaven to your best ability,
Condemned to live the full potential of humanity.

    March 2016

Thanks always returns

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