When I was a kid I led my own battalion of super-nerds. I was a mathlete, I rocked science fairs, built robots, chess club. The whole shebang. I had been interviewed a dozen times for a dozen different things and loved it. I lived on the euphoria of being smart in public. And then I got jumped in an alley.
I don't remember what I was doing walking down an alleyway in a sketchy neighborhood. It was a long time ago and the event was punctuated by bat-assisted head trauma. Anyway, it was stupid and I payed for it. Trouble was it was the day before I had a big interview for a nifty little innovation in desalinating water. No way was I going to let what I thought was just a little bump on my head keep me from doing it.
It was not just a bump on my head. They'd knocked me out for a little while, and in fact had done some pretty specific and unfortunate brain damage. But I was stubborn and childish, so I shrugged off the head ache and made excuses about wanting to be rested. The next day dawned with a splitting migraine and a spinning gut. Still I didn't take the hint. Wrote it off as nerves.