"Math is a lot like love - a simple idea, but it can get complicated..."
Once you decide to give someone a chance, to let someone in, to be vulnerable....and more importantly not to put pressure on something...that it be this or that or mean this or that or that he be the...sometimes things just fall into place quietly, softly, subtly...without your even knowing.
I don't think I realized how much I liked the Math Teacher. I refused to call him by his real name. I referred to him as simply "The Math Teacher" or "MT" to even my closest friends. "You don't name the puppy," I would often say (a lesson I learned from an oft lovesick girl friend). "You don't name the puppy....otherwise you'll feel like it belongs to you. It is someone. It means something to you. And then you'll want to take it home with you."
Even though I had committed to giving him an honest to goodness shot at really dating, I really didn't let myself think I liked him all that much. But I must have liked him enough...
When it came time to visit New York City for a friend's birthday, I couldn't help but invite him along. "Taking a trip together eh?" one friend asked. "That's kind of serious this soon isn't it?" "Not really," I replied nonchalantly and shrugged. "He's just....he's just....good company." And I meant that. I did. He really was....good. company.
But what did that mean? That I thought he was good company. That he was good company, for me. That I wanted him to come with me. That I somehow knew I wouldn't have as good a time without him.
And so we went to NYC. We met at the Chinatown Bus pickup point on H street near Gallery Place Chinatown metro. He had a small bag of luggage and so did I. In a way it was strange that we were going on a trip together. And in another way, it wasn't strange at all. It just made sense. He was good company and therefore we were travel companions.
I wish I knew how to explain the feeling of what happened next. But its hard. The ease. The comfort. The laughter. The perfect contentment. It was the shortest 5 hour bus ride of my life. After getting on we commenced our talk, talk, talking. Because you see, with us, there is never a shortage of conversation. The topics flow and stop and start and intertwine. No subject matter ever really finds completion. No inside joke ever loses its original wit. I told him I was an avid scrabble player and that I'd recently become obsessed with playing Words With Friends on my phone versus friends in real life and virtual friends whom Id never met. He was intrigued.
He doesn't have an iPhone so it took some time to figure out how to download WWF onto his phone. And then it also took some maneuvering to figure out how to challenge each other to play. You see, we weren't even facebook friends. I don't know why. He thought this was funny and thought we should remain facebook strangers. So instead we gave him a twitter account. (he didn't have a twitter account!!!) and he found me and was able to challenge me that way.
We played WWF for hours. Trash talking. Concentrating. In silence. And then not. At first I kicked his ass. But slowly, word by word, game by game, it became apparent that The Math Teacher, might not just have a nack for numbers. He had some background in Latin. He had an extensive vocabulary. The mathematics training helped him see patterns in the letters. It was almost ironic how he, the MT began to demolish me beyond all humility, beyond all reason. It made me angry. It made me intrigued. It made me turned on. There was more to this guy than I realized.
When our phones died we created our own version of taboo mixed with charades and made funny faces and gave hysterical word clues and laughed and laughed and laughed. We arrived to the City as if we'd only been commuting from just outside. It was - the easiest, most pleasurable bus ride of my life.
What could that mean? Or did it mean anything? It couldn't not.