I had dinner with my friend the mathematician. Well, he is not only a mathematician as he also has other talents. He writes so divinely funny and profound that it makes you wonder what you're doing yourself in the business of the humanities. But then I also have a secret wish: to become a number theorist rather than being a literary one. As my friend denies the charge of saving my life with his writing, and I'm sure this goes for the lives of a lot of others, we talk about secret wishes and projections. I asked him whether his 9 year old son wants to do math, like him, nuclear physics like his mother, or be a poet, like me. That my friend has a a thing for writing, in spite of his claims, was ever so clear as soon as some major time projection was activated. “A poet, a poet, by god, he has to be a poet,” he said, and then promised to send him over to me, when the time comes for him to attend a serious university. I said: “I'll ruin his life, you know”. And he said: “I know, I know, but that's exactly what I'm hoping for.” Jolly good. We have a deal, and I like deals: tell me what you want, and I'll tell you if I like it.

With the family topic out of the way, there were two other things that we always talk about: math and relationships. On men and women, he said: “It's all about sex, but when you have an opinion about this, you're of course always right.” I was beginning to feel really good, as I was sucking on the lobster and listening to such words of recognition. Between the sounds and the juices, I managed to mumble something: “with the interesting...,” and he picked up: “doing it with an interesting woman is bad, the worst that can befall you.” I took a sip of the Chianti Classico Reserva and I asked him: “what did you read when you were 12?” “The Three Musketeers,” he said quickly, “and if you also want to know, my first major erection was when I read Queen Margot.” Oh, my, how I liked the sound of that, for I have a theory. In your forties, you don't return to the books that anguished your existential soul at 17 (for me it was Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game). No, you return to the ones that you read at 12. And this return, more often than not, informs your relationships when you grow older. For instance, your whole apparatus for what you expect of others in terms of courtesy will be filtered through your perception of the codes of honor, sex, and other such things that are formulated in these works. As far as I'm concerned, I was even more pleasantly surprised to learn that it was not for nothing that I've kept referring to my friend as mon chevalier herr lektor in the past. Once more, the ineffable proved to keep ambiguity in check.

Then math. He gave me a copy of his breakthrough article that I commented on not long ago in a previous post, and we made another deal at his suggestion: we are going to write something together, but it will be a kind that will surprise. Now, deals with view to surprising are the best, and my sense of anticipation already took a turn for a beautiful path. We parted with a renewed sense of what living in the continuum really means. Here's a beautiful mantra: The expectation of the operator K b tilde on the state psi can be expressed with the help of the magnetic phase, which at its turn can be decomposed in a coherent state integral. This is a beautiful identity, involving the integral kernel of the heat semi-group associated with an apparently unrelated continuous Schroedinger operator. Yes, Herr Lektor D'Artagnan and I, Oueen Margot, will write together a properly surreal thing, befitting all those who live their lives according to Athos, Porthos and Aramis.


lektor said…
Yes, the surprise will be totally mind-blowing, apocalyptic, earth-shattering, majestic.. or even better: cosmic: )
Camelia said…
We expect nothing less.

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