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.

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