3. A Grave Site Indeed

I go to the moor to meditate. The invention of the modern church seems ironic (sacrilege, if you will). I can understand needing to express your gratitude to a higher power in the form of a mighty structure. Awe-inspiring cathedrals, with massive stone walls hiding secrets and relics from ancient societies, possibly key players from the good book, may prove to the world how dedicated one is. But it is in nature where I feel truly at peace. Where I know I’m a stitch, and there’s a seam holding us all together.

Invariably, I end up at the cemetery. It’s where we all end up, eventually. Reading the names, touching the cold, dead dirt; finding the oldest date calms me. The reticent audience beckons. Each passed individual calls, “Here I am, come see.” In their final resting place, they’re letting me know I got something right. Consoling me, as I once did them, though they were already gone. Everyone needs a little validation to remember their fortitude. To persevere.

One evening, in dire need of fresh air, I headed straight for the graveyard, not having time for both scenic ventures. Dry leaves on the ground rustled slowly; vibrant anomalies. Minuscule critters, imperceptible to the average onlooker, vacillated between scurrying and burrowing.

This is where I found him, haphazardly hopping over headstones with less than graceful determination. I thought it was a game at first; until I recognized him…Sherlock. By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late.

“STOP!” Hot, acidic breath shattered my eardrum. My head snapped back, held in place by a grimy fist. The command jolted me, but was directed at him. A cursory glance through my lashes showed the sleuth landing on the near side of a marker and halting.

Black, twisted locks oozed between my captor’s fingers, roots of hair taut from his desperate grasp. “Ah, the great Sherlock Holmes.” The man behind me practically purred with anticipation. “Let’s play a game, shall we?”

2. At Arm’s Length

When someone dedicates their life to alienating themselves, it’s difficult to get close to them. Not just emotionally, but physically. So much of his time has been spent solely in the corners of his own mind. Thinking, researching, calculating, digesting. Data in, data out; at the speed of light. Much faster than the speed of sound, which is proven every time his theories go over the heads of the populace. They’re like a madman’s rants. Yet they’re not hypotheses…They. Are. Brilliance.

“Elementary,” he says, when you’ve spent your entire day trying to collect a coherent thought and produce results. You recognized a pattern of shapes and colors. He trumps it with a sequence of numbers and riddles. “I’ll see your theory and raise you proof.” Always a step ahead, pointedly one-upping you and leaving you shaking in your boots. Like a war tactic or chess maneuver, he enjoys beguiling his opponent. At the same time, he craves the opportunity to be outwitted and challenged. Yet he’s never met his match, which leaves him feeling empty and isolated; behaviorally inclined toward an egotistical disposition.

One sees the wheels in motion when he’s immersed in a crowd. He’s bound to say, “Life is unfulfilling when you’re surrounded by people, or sheep, rather, who have been conditioned to be superficial. Politeness is political and trivial. Society’s undoing.” He openly endeavors to provoke an unfavorable reaction, in an attempt to arouse a meaningful conversation, which almost never happens because most are too intimidated by him to get upset.

The point? He never really connects. Touching is forbidden. Emotions: nonexistent. Even eye contact leaves something to be desired. He gives direct orders, and you obey because you don’t want the awkward silence that comes when he’s trying to understand why you didn’t jump into action immediately at his last request. And then it becomes even more uncomfortable when he intuitively discovers a legitimate reason as to why you can’t follow the simplest of instructions: Because you have trouble with authority, or bad hearing, or your cat’s pregnant, or you don’t want ketchup on your potatoes, just your meat, thank you very much!

So you’re better off appeasing his initial whim, lest you want a heart-to-heart with the pseudo-psychoanalyst who can’t seem to diagnose, let alone identify, his own issues. His solitude amplifies his resolve to withhold affection. His lack of experience and want of scholarly stimulus and validation drive his psyche. His attitude being of the general nature that common human needs and desires are anything but human. They are, in fact, animalistic and weak. A moment of gratification is impulsive; indulgent. It leads to selfishness and greed. And though he may be seemingly self-serving in his actions, and come across to most as attention seeking, his foremost motivation has always been for the assurance of the greater good.

This is why I cannot deny I am in love with Sherlock Holmes.