I never really understood the Pythagorean Theorem.
I mean, I wrote it on my paper. I copied it from the blackboard. And after all these years I can even recite it now:
a2 + b2 = c2
But what does it mean exactly? What is the point and why do we need to know the area of shapes and why in the world did anyone care about finding a square in the middle of a triangle?
I still remember sitting in the middle of geometry class with a furrowed brow and a paper covered with erased pencil marks and contemplating why in the world I needed to know that the sum of the squares of the two legs of a right triangle equaled the square of the hypotenuse when everyone knows what’s really important in life….
…the best way to accessorize stirrup pants.
Just between you and me and a right angle?
I owe a lot to Pythagoras and his theorem.
It’s all because of him that I fell in love with an Angry Lemon.
In our highschool’s fifth-period geometry class, I sat two aisles over from a boy with the cutest pair of twinkling brown eyes. He lived in the country and drove his father’s tractor and tended horses and was hands down the smartest boy in the entire tenth grade.
He wasn’t a big talker.
A man of very few words.
He was the strong silent type with dimples and brown wavy hair and big brown eyes that kind of looked like Johnny Depp’s and he had his own Oldsmobile Cutlass…..
…all the really important things in life.
He’d walk into class with a set of drumsticks in his back pocket and somewhere between finding the area and perimeter of a polygon and an in-depth discussion on the how’s and why’s of isosceles triangles…
…he’d take out those drum sticks and beat a rhythm on his textbook.
Sometimes it was Hotel California or I Would Walk 500 Miles or Stairway to Heaven.
The song changed from day to day, but the beat remained the same. He’d close his eyes and hum a tune and softly drum out the song to an imaginary audience and a girl sitting two aisles away wearing red lipstick, an add-a-bead necklace, 4″ high bangs sprayed with Aqua Net hairspray and a prairie skirt with a concho belt.
At the risk of stating the obvious? I looked amazing. I took extra time to make sure my red lipstick was perfect and then my friends and I would laugh and giggle and whisper and try in vain to get his attention
But he never looked.
He only had eyes for Led Zepplin.
Geometry class ended later that year.
I barely passed.
He got an A and one of the highest grades in the class.
Two years later, our time in high school ended and we packed up our graduation hats and our dreams and hopes and plans for life and headed to college…
…never to meet again.
Or so we thought.
The next summer I was home on break and a friend of mine invited me to attend a concert in a barn at a local farm miles outside of town. The venue was packed and rowdy and loud and full of smoke and hay and dim lighting and a spotlight on the stage where the band was assembled.
The Angry Lemons.
That’s what the band banner said.
And when The Angry Lemons started to play, I saw my geometry class drummer.
There he was–on stage playing with his eyes closed, lost in a world of music and notes and tunes that swirled around in that crowded, smoky venue with the smell of hay and summer in the air. My friends and I laughed and giggled and cheered and clapped in his direction and tried in vain to get his attention.
But he never looked.
He only had eyes for Van Halen.
That next Christmas I was home for break and out of the blue, I got a call from an Angry Lemon with Johnny Depp hair and twinkling eyes and a pair of drumsticks in his back pocket who asked:
Did I want to go out?
Did I want to look at Christmas lights?
Could I be ready in an hour?
Ummmm…yes. Yes. Yesssssss. Extra yes with sprinkles on top.
I’d only been waiting on him since I figured out that a2 + b2 really does = c2
He drove in from the country and picked me up in his Oldsmobile Cutlass and we looked at Christmas lights and then he kissed me silly under the stars on the curb outside my parent’s house. And on that first date, I discovered something amazing.
All those times I thought he was drumming?
All those times I thought he didn’t notice me or my Aqua Net bangs?
All those times I thought he was listening only to Pythagoras?
I was wrong.
He let me know when he laughed and grinned and told me with a smile full of dimples…
….that he’d been paying attention all along. 🙂