"Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring."
|Arrival date:||27 July, 2012|
|Programmed Possession:||His violin|
"Ha! You put me off, do you?" said our new visitor, taking a step forward and shaking his hunting-crop. "I know you, you scoundrel! I have heard of you before. You are Holmes, the meddler."
My friend smiled.
"Holmes, the busybody!"
His smile broadened.
"Holmes, the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office!"
Holmes chuckled heartily. "Your conversation is most entertaining," said he. "When you go out close the door, for there is a decided draught."
"My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know."
Genius, according to Thomas Carlyle, is an infinite capacity for taking pains. Sherlock Holmes doesn't really ascribe to the concept of "genius," as premised on romanticized and hypothetical notions of cognitive ability as he thinks it is, but he does ascribe to the concept of taking pains. At heart he's an intelligent, curious, and intellectually passionate person who devotes his life to learning and understanding as much about the world as possible, as well as trying to find and expose the truth. However, he's also an overgrown teenager. His social and emotional development hasn't matched his cognitive: he's introverted, defensive, socially awkward, and very immature. In many ways he's a smart kid who never grew into a smart adult -- forever raising his hand in class, correcting the teacher, appointing himself the leader of every science project, and otherwise still as defensive and as prone to showing-off as a boy in sixth form. He likes books more than people, computers definitely more than books, sulks when his ego's stung, and secretly fantasizes about the day everyone will realize he's right about everything and applaud how clever he is. He's moody and impatient, often unable to cope with other people's inability to keep up with him, and even more unable to cope with rejection or skepticism; he's a bit of a drama queen prone to fits of quitting the metaphorical internets every time something doesn't go his way, sulking for long periods of time, and changing his mind at the drop of a hat. He's not exactly cruel and is not incapable of being polite or professional, but he's definitely the most petulant consulting detective you're likely to meet.
Like any other person, Sherlock does want friends, he's just terminally inept at making and keeping them. He's thin-skinned, mercurial, easily stung, wants all of your attention one moment and then wants you to vanish from the room the next, and otherwise is sort of like trying to be friends with a cat. He's getting better at playing with others, though, as his career as a consulting detective has landed him and other people in hot water and caused him to realize that his crime-fighting game of cops and robbers has real consequences. He's developed a better sense of responsibility and appreciation for other people now that he's gone through a lot more humbling experiences -- however, it's still a very awkward and fledgling sense. He has a strong sense of right and wrong that sometimes clouds the fact that other people's senses of right and wrong matter too, and that his ends don't always justify his means. He is curious about just about everything and will get to know people in many walks of life to learn more -- from CEOs to graffiti artists -- but is also absolutely terrible at disguising when something bores him, which is a lot. He's often bored. He lives his life chasing after things to entertain him, or at least did until very recently, and trying to acquire some semblance of maturity and patience hasn't come easy.
Personally, he's a techie who likes his iPhone and his laptop and his chemistry kits and will be put out to find them all missing. He's also a privileged young yuppie who takes great pains with his wardrobe (though will never admit it), and will also be put out to find that missing. He's used to the creature comforts of urban life and --- whether he admits it or not -- the privilege of being a young white British blueblood with a powerful and high-ranking brother, and will generally be very put out to find everything he knows and depends on turned arse-over-teakettle. He thought his humbling experiences were finished with Jim Moriarty. He's wrong. He's very wrong.
Keen observation skills, well-developed deductive reasoning, and a broad base of knowledge on scientific, engineering, and other forensic and real-world-applicable topics. Sherlock's not actually supernaturally intelligent, just very fast-thinking and interested in a wide variety of topics; his deductive reasoning and methodical approach to problem-solving avails him in a lot of situations, as he's a very resourceful person, but it's premised on an understanding in a world he won't be living in any more. He's good with hardware and software and is a capable though not exceptional programmer. He's pragmatic if not fearsome in combat situations, preferring solutions like pepper spray. Theoretically he can shoot a gun, though he hasn't yet been known to hit anything that isn't a wall. He can play the violin well, but doesn't always choose to, unfortunately.
Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, and there, deep down in that dreadful cauldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation.
Sherlock's life could be described as trial and error -- a lot of trial and a lot of error. He was born the second child of the wealthy and estranged Holmes family, seven years younger than his older brother Mycroft, with a nonpresent father and an oft-absent mother. Sherlock grew up like so many privileged and neglected children under the care of nannies, primary school, and his brother Mycroft, who took over the role of a foster-parent in their parents' absence. This led to lifelong tension between the two, Mycroft being responsible and often imperious and Sherlock always a bit rebellious. Still, Sherlock was mainly a dreamy and introverted little boy interested in pirates and children's books about microbes until he started demanding proper books about microbes and it was clear school wasn't fulfilling his needs. He vexed teachers with his difficult personality and educational impatience, barely fended off a few childhood psychiatric diagnoses, and only grew more difficult in secondary school when he discovered truancy and then drugs.
As a lonely and irresponsible teenager, he found LSD and Ecstasy, and then cocaine, and it was his addiction to the latter that haunted him well into his twenties: causing him to drop out of his chemistry program in university, live from dubious paycheck to paycheck, and nearly land himself in jail several times, until his brother forcibly corralled him into rehab in his late twenties and he turned his life around with only a periodic smoking habit remaining of his earlier life. This cracked another rift down the center of their relationship, but he emerged from rehab clean. Under Mycroft's watchful and unwanted eye, he started living alone and then took an interest in the work of one DI Lestrade, a Metropolitan Police Service detective who reluctantly accepted his help cracking difficult cases.
His life took another turn when he was introduced to Dr John Watson, a veteran from Afghanistan, who became his flatmate, friend, and soon his best friend -- with a great deal of rockiness along the way. Temperamental and strange as their relationship was, he and John grew close. Sherlock relied on John as his career as a consulting detective skyrocketed and he found himself involved with more serious and dangerous cases, drawing the attention of mentally unstable computer genius and criminal mastermind Jim Moriarty as well. Moriarty's obsession with him culminated in conspiring to set Sherlock up as a fraud and a Munchausen-esque narcissist whose detective career was a lie, attempting to force Sherlock to commit suicide with him in dishonor in order to protect John, Lestrade, and his landlady and friend Mrs Hudson.
Moriarty succeeded. Kind of.