Two Palestinians and a whiteboard

Of this image, you may replace Santa with my dad, and the baby with myself, our emotional states static when it was time for me to receive math lessons from baba.

Practically every time, I had to be trussed like a piggy and  launched into the trunk of the car to be transported to my lessons. Thanks God I look good in Apple In My Mouth.

For those of you not in the know, my dad’s an accountant by trade and possessing one of the most ridiculously sharp mathematical brains ever. He’s already computed shit (at an unnatural rate) while I’m still staring at the calculator waiting for it to  turn on because I’m the only asshole in Canada with a solar-powered calculator. Also, I remember that one time I asked some man a question about something and he couldn’t give me a precise numerical figure and when I told my dad, my father unilaterally decided that said man was a fundamentally stupid person undeserving of mixing his genes with mine because “a truly smart person remembers numbers.”

Dear You,

Please take note. Should my father ask you for a figure, be firm in your delivery of said figure. Even if you don’t have a clue. Actually — especially if you don’t have a clue.


Your Future Sexer

During my grade-school years, he was my math tutor, and the VP Finance for one of this City’s largest construction companies (and later, the VP Finance for another one of this City’s largest construction companies). Essentially, he’s a numbers man.

Me, I was a kid who loved to draw and write stories and make figurines out of construction paper. I was also a little bit of an overachiever like that time I cried hysterically when my construction paper “The Birth of Venus” made it look like Zephyrus was puking on Venus, rather than blowing her gently to shore because I wasn’t very coordinated with scissors. I was also 6.

Back to my father.

I don’t actually remember the first time he tutored me; this, likely because of the trauma which would follow.

Presented with a simple mathematical problem, my father didn’t wish to merely teach me how to solve it. Instead, and like his life depended on it, he would give me the genealogy of the mathematical rule which led to the formula that gave rise to the structure which birthed the equation that was the foundation on which Atlas held up the world.

He would also force me to take my lessons in his work’s conference room, where he would sit at the head of the table and I would stand on top of a chair to reach the whiteboard. It was his turf, his love (math, not me), and his daughter who didn’t think that having her father stare her down while huffing and puffing was the way to her brain. I am convinced he was attempting some sort of Vulcan death stare intent on forcing me to submit to the laws of math.

No surprise, the combination never worked. Instead, it made for an explosive scenario and though my father didn’t engender much but complete terror in me at that time, I have always been a fighter. Terrified, but still fighting and protesting.

At about the three hour mark, I would start crying. Left with no proper recourse (I was stranded! He was my drive home), I would stand with my back to him, face the whiteboard, and mindfully commit myself to a stubborn and silent formal protest by refusing to use regular numbers, replacing them with bubble numbers instead:

Certainly, my father thought I was officially retarded. Until I would come home with 100% across the board in every single math exam until Calculus punched me in my face. My heart still gripped with terror, I only ever had one thought as I handed him my math marks —Pray I don’t have to see the inside of your conference room ever again, Fascist.

Until today, this is one of the few prayers God answered with a “Negatory, b/tch.” (See? All prayers do get answered; just maybe not with ‘ok!’)