It suddenly occurs to me that I wrote my first love poem 26 years ago. I wrote it in Apple ][ BASIC. I just had to tell her how fine she looked on that low-res green screen. What beautiful pictures that green screen could make of my sweet little Trigah.
Trig! That bitch was the bane of my senior year. All those mysterious identities to be memorized—what for? For college? I wasn’t even finished with high school, and I was already sick of college.
The school counselor had a talk with my math teacher. He had seen me with Trig, and he could tell that we weren’t meant for each other. The counselor told my parents to steer me clear of anything involving Trig, Math, or anyone like them. They just weren’t my type.
But my Apple ][+ showed me her beauty—like the stars: a little coefficient here, or an angle multiplier there, and her sines and cosines suddenly had a beauty—a meaning—all their own.
By the time I met her again in college, I couldn’t get enough of her. How she had grown!
That’s right: college. I couldn’t find anything else to do with myself, so there was no way out of it. So I enrolled in the local community college.
But college had little or nothing in common with college prep. I could finally meet subjects on their own terms—not on behalf of college preparation.
That’s where I met Calculus. She was beautiful too, in a new way, and I loved her too. I wrote little love programs to her, even while I was still writing poems to Trig. Sometimes I would write one poem for both of them. I wonder whether they knew.
Loving them both was more fulfilling than loving just one or the other. Without one in my life, the other seemed—incomplete.
Their charms were so—complementary.
Then there was Diffy Q., and Vectora Nalysis—and Linnea L. Gebra. They were each beautiful in new, refreshing and surprising ways. I loved them too.
I loved them all.