She was very clever, yes. She knew the world and she knew people and long ago had decided she wasn’t impressed, not by what mattered or what didn’t matter. It was all the same to her.
She was honest and held other people to her honesty and found them wanting, knew when they lied and when they wanted to lie, knew when they made eye contact and why they didn’t. Sometimes she pretended to believe them, sometimes she didn’t, mercurially, as her fancy moved her. She liked flustering people. She was a scrapper, in the front line, with fists and words and knives, ready to fight, ready to draw a line. As she grew older and the stakes higher she became political instead of physical, but it was the same fight, the same fury.
She read widely, non-fiction mostly. She knew about bees and social insects, about architecture, about the political structure of the early Ottoman empire, about the Church’s relationship with homosexuality and Gnosticism. She liked learning, she liked talking about what she was reading, about history and power and revolution, without pretension. She read, but withheld her belief; dreamed, but put her faith in other things.