I’m not so smart; I’ve made mistakes, but . . . What comes after that negative conjunction? Insanity, barbarity, genius? We say he has talent others wouldn’t work to get. They don’t think it could happen to them, would rather hope on the lottery and mind their pints and quarts, set out to prove what they’ve assumed, or rely on rote attempting to embarrass whoever knows less. I resist supposing virtues for my deficiencies, trying to compensate and forgive the complementary the mind easily reflects everyone’s secret defense— whatever works.