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Pickle Me This

August 1, 2008

On finding math in my book

It’s amazing, rereading, how it takes you back in time. Providing intimate encounters, so unexpected, with the yous you used to be. For example, yesterday I opened my copy of The Stone Angel for the first time since I read it in my grade twelve English class. First, on the first page is written in my (still) best friend’s hand: “I hate this book because I can’t read it because I am illiterate,” ascribed to me, which must have been funny once. (What is funny, of course, is that illiterate was spelled wrong.) And then how about the trigonometry on the inside cover?? At least I think it’s trigonometry, and the most remarkable thing about it is that it’s my handwriting! That once upon a time that gibberish meant anything at all to me, and I struggled over it, slaved over it, vandalized my very own paperbacks with it (and for naught, I think I see now considering I don’t even know what it is. Though did anybody even pretend that trigonometry was going to be useful?). What a strange life I must have lived then, and no wonder I sort of missed the point of the book, and we’ll just add this to the exponentially ever-growing list of reasons why I’m glad I get to be an adult now.

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