The Genius that Disappeared

Lennie Moreno
Mar 28, 2016 · 7 min read

I like to say, he’s not autistic Asperger, his brain is just wired differently. He skipped 2 years in elementary school. It was just too easy for him. He did Calculus Math when he was 8. He arrived in high school at the age of 10 so he obviously got bullied around. Poor guy, he was so small compared to these “I got something to prove” giants. The so called nerd. The handsome kid on the right of the picture. My older brother. My real brother. The stranger I haven’t seen in over 16 years now. Sol Moreno.

We used to play chess and he’d crush me. I always had this inferior feeling when I was around him. He could solve problems in seconds and would make me feel stupid because I couldn’t do the same. Still, when I played chess with the other guys at school, I would obliterate them because of all the little tricks I learned from him. Thanks man.

After completing an IQ test in elementary school, yes, in elementary, my brother got a 166 or so. I did the damn test 20 years later and I was just 26 points behind. Now, I don’t know how reliable this is plus I’m not someone that puts much faith in these tests knowing that a healthy lifestyle and running a successful business requires more than just the ability to problem solve.

You know when a veterinarian will start petting a sick dog and say “good dog, buddy, good dog” right before euthanizing him, the dog will not see what’s coming and think that the vet actually has his best interest at heart. But when one’s intelligence is so far beyond your own, you never really know what that person is thinking. That’s how I felt the last few times I saw my brother, that’s how I believe he would see other human beings. Like dogs. I just couldn’t understand him anymore.

Still, we used to laugh together when we were young, we were splitting a sofa-bed in my grand-parents ‘living room for over 7 years. No problems there, but the tic of time grew us apart.

I was making more and more friends and he would get more and more isolated. Many of the kids thought he was kind of a weirdo so they never wanted to hang out with him. He didn’t fit in the mold. A mold fabricated by society to be accepted by your peers, wtf is this crap. You know, I say this but I have followed most of the rules in the book to get my point across.

I should’ve held on to him with more passion and understanding than I did, just like I do on my day to day business functions. Even if someone doesn’t fit in the team, he may still be one of the most important assets I have in the business. A Diamond. A worker that might end up with stock options. Bah, now’s not the time for remorse about what I’ve should or shouldn’t done but it’s time to think & time to act; life is a journey filled with lessons and I can’t blame myself for what happened.

Anyways, one evening, my dad told me to bring him with my crew so he can be more social and gets a couple of new friends. I didn’t really care but my brother didn’t want to. At all. My dad just made it mandatory thinking it would help. At the time, I was hanging out with a couple of badass dudes, graffiti artists, Colt 45 drinkers and blunt smokers. Girls and boys. The girls would rock the TLC style baggy jeans to go along with a sexy sports bra. My god, my brother never even talked to a girl before and now he has to hang out with this bunch of lunatics?

He basically just observed and analyzed what we were doing. Not talking. My friends would ask me what the hell he was doing there and I’d be like “hhhmm well, it was my father’s idea, I don’t know, go talk to him.” It was just a weird night.

He came back, called my dad and said: “I’ve seen apes tonight and these apes are drinking alcohol, smoking stuff, stealing things, writing on walls with big markers and they have a group of very young ape prostitutes around them”. That’s actually what he said. From that day on, my brother stopped talking to me. Maybe I scared him or maybe he just couldn’t find a connection between our lives.

No need to say that once that information was out in the open, I slowly disappeared from that circle of friends. My brother said these things in such an innocent way but it kind of created a movement and pushed me to beg my dad to put me in a private school. I could feel at time that I wasn’t moving in the right direction so this little episode actually changed my life. Most of my dearest friends are people I met in that private school; even if I stayed there for just one year.

Some of the latest news I got (in 2009), was that he went to a University in France to study more mathematics. He would literally correct the teacher every chance he had. His brain would process the formulas differently and insult the teacher because he believed that he shouldn’t be teaching if he couldn’t understand how to get the correct answer by going through a different technique that requires 60% less steps than the conventional method. That didn’t go anywhere. Not everyone has your capabilities Sol.

He ended up picking grapes in a vineyard. For years. That’s the latest I heard until he disappeared. I believe that the simplicity of the task was able to soothe his soul.

He used to be on the grid until 2 years ago. Even if he wouldn’t talk to any of us, we knew he was alive. We would monitor his activity through utility companies and other government avenues. Man, the things I did to try to obtain the smallest information. Whatever, it was necessary.

You know, whenever I get stress calls from my parents because they have no results from the inspectors or government officials about his whereabouts, my answer is: “maybe he wants to be left alone, if he wanted to be found, he’s smart enough to make the appropriate moves to be found, so let him be”.

This is probably some sort of excuse Im using not to start a manhunt so I can keep hustling in the company until I get enough money and time to build proper mission. What am I saying? There will never be enough money so let’s focus on time. Fuck it, today, I’m starting with step 1 of my quest. A little note. A little note that he might decide to answer or not. In any case, if he gets it, at least he’ll know that there are some people that cares for him. Life is way too short to stay stagnant. He’s smart enough to know what Facebook is, he’s smart enough to know what LinkedIn is, maybe he checks those and he clearly knows my name. I’ve waited long enough and I’m not dying without reconciling with him. Plus, there’s no way he never checked for me… there’s only one Lennie Moreno.

Dear Sol,

If you’re reading this, just remember that you’re my older brother. It’s been 16 years since I last saw you. I don’t even know what you look like anymore. Im not the hoodlum you saw back in 96 anymore. You would actually be proud of me understanding where we’re from. You would probably even enjoy hanging out with me, even if it’s just you beating me at chess repeatedly. Give me a sign of life. Don’t do it for me, do it for mom and dad. They sometimes call me at night thinking that something might have happened to you. We are not parents, we don’t understand or can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to live with the thought of losing your child. Parents will make mistakes but don’t punish them forever by disappearing. They are hurting. Life is about doing the best with the tools that were given to us, forgive the ones that offended us and hopefully inspire a couple of people along the way. I moved on, we all have wounds but we must face them head on so that we can better ourselves as we grow. I was hoping you would’ve been there for grandma & grandpa’s funeral; a moment where I wish we could’ve reconcile. They are buried together at the top of a hill. They raised us, they helped us with everything they had. We use to spend good times together over there, remember? Every time I go visit, I think of you and where you could you possibly be. I sometimes cry for you when I run. There were 6 of us when we came to Canada. We’re only 2 left in Montreal. We just want to know that you’re ok and that you’re finding happiness in your own way. Just say something, even if it’s just the first 68,000 decimals of PI, because I know you can beat the current record while at the same time, beat Garry Kasparov in a chess match. And, if you want to come back, you’re more than welcome so we can put that gifted brain to work on something that will last for eternity.

With Love

Your brother, Lennie

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade