The thing I hate about equations is their lack of mercy. X doesn't decide to give you a break because your alarm didn't go off, and milk splashed out of your cereal bowl all over your pants when you had two minutes until the bell rang, and as you made for the door you caught a glimpse of your hair standing straight up on one side. X doesn't take these things into consideration when X sees you bent over your math test biting another hangnail with the ticking clock blaring in your head. X doesn't care when the entire class has turned their test in, and your last mechanical pencil runs out and you still have ten problems to go. X keeps on hiding behind the five steps your supposed to take to find him, and he laughs when he sees frustrated tears in your eyes. X waits for you to simplify and check your answer, and the truth is, you couldn't care less because you smell like warm milk and feel the same, and frankly, you'd like X to please come out just so you can strangle his egotistical butt. X always has a problem.
Today I hate X, and Y, and I also hate common denominators, and functions, and distributing factors. No, I would not like to learn to fluently factor polynomials... Though if I could, I’d put it in my Facebook info right next to my other rare talents, which include: building things out of large sticks, jump roping at high speeds, drawing trees, and finger picking small, repeated ditties on my guitar.
I have fifty pages of chicken scratched numbers in parentheses where I have tried and failed more than a hundred times to solve equations. These numbers make me look very brilliant, but they don’t mean anything. They don’t solve anything. They’re like little lines scratching off every minute of the fifteen hours I have spent in the last two weeks trying to fluently solve God’s map of the world. Algebra. Math. I’d rather look up at the sky and simply acknowledge you exist. I’d rather drop a leaf from the top of a building and silently bless the numbers that represent it’s slow float to the ground. There are some things in this world that come naturally. There are some things that we were just not made for.
I was not created to divide fractions. Or multiply them. Or break them up into parenthetical pairs using the “trial and error method.” I was made to write them neatly across the page and move on. Which is what i’m about to do because my pants still smell like milk, and it’s a cloudy day with fire leaves against the sky.
Tomorrow I will enter a white-walled classroom at 9:25 with a pencil and a sober heart because I have never been able to understand the way the world fits together in neat little bundles where X makes his home. Tomorrow I will take my test and get a 65% because my math teacher awards me half-credit for trying. And like a headache, fleeting sadness, or the rain, X will one day fade out of my life and be no more.
I feel bad for you. Nobody loves you. Not even the math major in McFarland who solves you with a flourish. Maybe you should love me more, X. Because I see that you’re much deeper than anybody gives you credit for. Come out across my page with your equal sign tomorrow, X, if anything, because I value your mystery, and all the unrelated things that make you beautiful.