Friday Night Story

Unlucky at Math

I’m sorry. I was wrong. You’ll know, no doubt, how rarely I say that. I’m rarely wrong, and it’s even rarer I’ll acknowledge it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking today. How we met in game theory, and you pretended to have trouble with it so I’d tutor you. And I remember our first fight, over a homework problem from our vector calculus class, that dissolved into several minutes of laughter when you discovered I was on the wrong page. And I was the one who found that error in your doctoral thesis on the orientability of Möbius strips. Just this morning you screamed (and I screamed) until I agreed to recheck my DARPA submission (all right, I agreed after you’d stormed out, and I was left in the quiet without you, and I realized how difficult that kind of silence would be if it lasted).

But I don’t want you to think that ours is a pairing based solely on intellectual compatibility; and I’ve always rushed to dismiss those who state a preference for similar literature, composers or cuisine decides a match, but we share the same desires in life. We like the quiet solitude of our apartment in the evening, and the walk for a bagel and coffee in the morning.

I don’t normally like dogs, but I like your dog. I like the way the bed smells when you get up to shower, and I know that you like that I drive us to work. I like how you wear my shirts after I’ve worn them, and pretend not to smell them when I catch you.

Don’t let my foolish attempt at a graph theory explanation of the dynamics of networks (and my even more foolish defense of it) stand between us. Inexplicable (and mathematically unexplainable) as it may seem, the combination of us is greater than the sum of our parts- we know it even if we can’t construct a proof.

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