I Don't Share My Grandfather's Love for Mathematics

I watch as he writes an equation that looks like the hybrid of the English and Greek alphabets and the Arabic numeral system, a mathematical portmanteau. He looks over at me to make sure I’m paying attention, then puts his ballpoint pen back to the paper. X² ± X − 1 = 0. He explains the MacLaurin series, the Mandelbrot set, the Riemann zeta function. My mind wanders. X = − ½ ± √ (½)².

Maybe he finds elegance in the structure of a geometric proof, with its logical steps leading to an inevitable conclusion. Maybe he sees math as the language of God because the Fibonacci sequence is found in the dandelion and the chambered nautilus. Maybe the numbers and symbols reveal to him a beauty so deep it can’t be expressed with words.

Jonathan, you should name your first son Vicente, after me.

I don’t even have a girlfriend, I reply.

This problem has remained unsolved for the last 22 years. He looks at me with disappointment. I am the last Gallardo.

Jonathan Gallardo is a journalism major at Cedarville University. He enjoys playing basketball and the piano, and he loves Tolkien, Douglas Adams and Dr. Seuss equally. He’s lived in Ohio his whole life and would like to get out. https://asianlambo.wordpress.com