The Quadratic Equations Of Summer
Surreptitious And The Obfuscators were, of course, the band of the moment that summer. It seemed every transistor radio in the land was playing their number one single, '(C’mon, Baby,) Force My Oscillations'. It was a long hot summer and the grass was brown and parched everywhere.
It had been a long time since I had even thought about quadratic equations, but my thighs were once again athrob with memories of how you held your calculator. You had gone away for the summer, deep into the Walsall forests to study the mating habits of the Greater-Goose-pimpled British Nudist, and to discover whether it was really true about their use of flip-flops.
I had a summer job being the obligatory half-arsed dozy teenager hiring out deck chairs to the pensioners who gathered at the park to sleep through their seemingly never-ending bowls matches, and – when awake - to smugly decry the state of the nation they had fought through two world wars, rationing and flat caps to bring into being. Most of them, of course, relished the fact that the whole place had gone to the dogs in that quietly inept way that Britain always seems to manage with such consummate ease.
I remembered how earlier that summer we had often, in the cool of the evenings walked down to the chip shop together to sit on the wall outside to laugh at the knees of the ludicrously be-shorted patrons as they waddled out of the shop with their fish and chips clutched tightly in their hot sweaty hands. It had seemed then that our love could never die.
But… I was wrong.
Little did I know then of your infatuation with Venn diagrams and how you secretly scorned my infatuation with quadratic equations and all that, what you considered, ‘old-fashioned‘ maths. I should have realised that it would never last when you begged me to talk of Set Theory as we lay on the hill overlooking the canal each evening, and how you would never - not even once – touch my booklet of 'Four-Figure Logarithmic Tables', no matter how much I begged.
Soon, though, that summer was over, and you had gone, far away to university to study Transformational Geometry, leaving me behind forever in my plain, lonely, Euclidian world.