calculator

Pre-calculus, pink dress. Wintertime, chalkboard, Shadow light projector, magic markers. Heavy textbooks, the memory of which still curses my aching back. Large graphing calculators – Fuck you Texas Instruments. Tiny square buttons bringing to life bullshit equations that I can’t stand. A class I’d love to cut. Math class annoyance dome. Headache and dehydration. Frustrated head-scratching leads to apathy. Tasting disappointment. Always false confidence when I hand in my quiz or test. Disappointment always when getting it back. Always worse than I expected. Could never get the hang of it. Don’t want to. Pressing little raised colored buttons. I remember the two Texas Instruments calculators – the non-graphing kind. One was more updated the other. The older, navy blue and quite rectangular; defined angles all around. Looked older. The more modern had somewhat curved edges; Calculator was navy, but the lid was black, some graphic scribed into it. Writing “HELLO” with upside down numbers and a decimal point. I definitely rely on calculators now, though I’m not sure where these other models have gone off too. Stuck in some clutter somewhere. I remember being a kid and being so scared of multiplication. I really didn’t understand it at first, couldn’t grasp it. Not sure when I actually did. I can see my desk in 3rd grade, and recall the way my classroom looked; Teacher’s desk to my left, door to my right. Blackboard, straight ahead. Multiplication table to the left of that. Before calculators it was just abacuses and fingers, I’d imagine. Some post-Greek world, lamp-lit pulp paper substitute, writing things out with ink. All those years, all that time spent wasting sitting in classrooms when I could have been writing songs and literally doing anything else with my time. Punch and crunch the numbers. Was it worth it, and who would I have been without it?