May 8th, 1988
I encounter science for the first time during recess. As my friends and I are busy using the magnifying lens that Billy Stewart had gotten for his eighth birthday to burn some sticks, she breaks off from the pack of girls she usually travels around the schoolyard with to tell me that she likes my shoes. I don’t understand how anyone could possibly dislike my shoes as they are brand new and have little zippered compartments where I have carefully secreted away the coins I will later use to buy myself some Gobstoppers, so I’m a little befuddled as I return to the sticks. Achieving only faint smoke from the wood we foolishly move on to try, using the same techniques, to freeze a small puddle.
September 10th, 1990
As I patiently explain to Todd Walters that his newest scheme to attain flight will probably end disastrously Science approaches. Relations have been cool since the shoe incident and I am surprised that she’s coming my way. Timidly, she asks if I’m going to the lunch hour dance taking place the following day. Rumours abound that Science has been dating an older boy so I am shocked that she seems to be asking me to a dance. I try desperately, and ultimately unsuccessfully, to maintain my cool as I explain that, since I suspect the only tapes that will be played at said dance are by The New Kids on the Block and M.C. Hammer, I will not be going anywhere near the gym. As Science retreats dejectedly I agree with Todd that invisibility on the other hand is totally doable. I learn later that Science and Billy Stewart were seen kissing in a corner of the gymnasium during “Groove is in the heart”. No doubt this is in retribution for my breaking his magnifying glass.
October 22nd, 1993
During Math class Science’s friend Sarah Jensen passes my friend Cam Sparks a note that says, after a lengthy digression paralleling the math teacher’s personal hygiene and his family name, that Science thinks I am cute. I hear about this note later in the library as I am perusing a pop-up book about the human circulatory system that I discovered while searching for a compendium of the 1001 worst sports injuries. I immediately pen a response that is both witty and sweet, asking if Science would like to go steady. After school I walk her home and during a brief pause in her explanation of why, contrary to a popular movie of the day, it would be impossible to clone dinosaurs from a mosquito, I slip my hand into hers.
December 3rd, 1998
I accidentally run into Science in the cafeteria. Ever since we broke up I have been practicing in my dorm room’s mirror what I would say in just such a chance encounter. In these sessions I kept my composure as I listed the reasons, sensible to the last, that I had, during the previous semester, decided to simultaneously transfer into theology and end our relationship of 4 years. Now, I am pathetically trying to mask my sobs with a sudden and illogical case of mid-winter hay-fever; in the face of Science’s composure my reasons sound contrived and immature. Eventually I break down into tears, call my foray into the arts ill-advised and proclaim my everlasting love. Embarrassed by my own overflow of emotion and disappointed by her cold façade I regrettably erupt, calling Science a “heartless bitch”. I apologize immediately blaming the outburst on her absence from my life. It takes months of cajoling but eventually Science, whether out of pity, nostalgia or something else, agrees to take me back on the condition that I transfer back into Chemistry.
May 31st, 2005
My mind wanders from Karl Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery to my impending nuptials. Have I made a huge mistake? Can I really spend the rest of my life with Science? There is no question that I love her, that I’ve always loved her, but sometimes I catch myself gazing wistfully at other girls. Girls who read novels, play the guitar and don’t quantify the beauty of a sunset for ease of comparison. Of course, they don’t seem to care about string theory.