Sex And Applied Mathematics


If you never tell someone how you feel, then they will never know. It sounds simple, but it ends up being quite the abstruse concept for people, me included. If you never tell someone how you feel, then they will never know—even if you tell everyone.  You can write it on the bathroom wall or the Internet or the moon, but if you don’t tell them, then they will never know.

In mathematical logic, a conditional is a compound statement formed by combining two sentences using the words “if… then.”  If you never tell someone how you feel, then they will never know. In math and in life, conditionals have implications. Just because something isn’t something, doesn’t mean that it’s nothing.

Despite the math, I promise that none of this is calculated. I’m just so tired of words. Can you find a way to tell me how you feel with numbers? I’ve got dresser drawers lousy with punctuation.

Come to think of it, I’m not very good with numbers either and there is a lot here to factor. That includes all of your lovely geometry and all of my tortured algorithms. This isn’t simple arithmetic, but you don’t have to help me solve my problems. I know that rate equals distance over time.

The man on the sidewalk said I should fight for you. He said you could have anyone. He was right, but he also just wanted a cigarette. He said he bought his man anything he wanted, but his man wasn’t there, was he? When you only have half the story, you can never really be certain that you have it right.

It’s always some kind of numbers game in the end. Or really it’s not the numbers, it’s what they mean. The man on the sidewalk said I should fight for you. What do you say?

Or what would you say? If I did… then you would… Everything is conditional. If you think this is about you, then this is about you.

But you’re too mathematical for assumptions and I’m not Carly Simon. I don’t want you to wonder if this is about you. This is about you. Is this an ordered pair or an empty set?  Probably neither, if… then. Probably both, if… then.

When I was in college and I didn’t want to talk to someone who approached me at a bar, I would tell them my major was applied math. I’m sure some people find it very sexy, but it usually at least paused the bozos who approached me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like talking. Sometimes I get so tired of words.

Not all binary operations are communicative. Maybe it’s too soon for numbers or words; maybe for now we just need to focus on the physical variables. Everything is conditional. You + me. You. Me. It’s all conditional.

There are so many questions here and I am slowly trying to answer each one. If…then. I’m so tired of words and not very good with numbers. It’s tough doing all of this in my head.

I don’t even have a calculator. But all the instruments in Texas couldn’t help me now. The answers could be here somewhere. If I find them, then I’ll tell you.

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image – Lance Shields