Should you happen across a girl who, though she might masquerade as a writer, has hidden within her a dark, mathsy little secret, it would behove you to know how to approach the matter. Whether you wish to woo her for friendship (or more) there will be ways of reaching those secret, almost-shameful parts of her soul, which *whispers* words can’t quite reach…
Start your day in a botanic garden, where you can stare together in wonder at sunflower seeds spiralling simultaneously in opposing-but-perfect, living renditions of the Fibonacci sequence, and point out where it repeats throughout the gardens in the positioning of leaves spaced around a stem; the unfurling of a fern’s fronds, or in the perfect proportions you both inhabit – betwixt knuckles of your fingers, lower to upper body, or the spacings of your eyes. Meanwhile, surrounded by beauty, you can busy yourself whispering sweet nothings; delicious words like ‘calculus’, ‘trigonometry’ or ‘logarithm’, and press a few of her literary buttons with the sheer, aesthetic delight of the way those words sound when spoken softly.
Whisk her away on a surprise trip out to sea in a paddle-steamer, taking her by the hand and running to the engine room, before it sets off, so that you can both marvel at the enormous, gleaming brass pistons, and every intricate working in burnished metal, then watch her eyes glitter with excitement as the noise ramps up, and imperceptibly at first, the giant machine begins to move, taking the boat with it – the thunderous splashing of waves being beaten in the paddle-boxes is only muffled by the excitement of seeing several tonnes of intricately-connected metal speed up and up and up, in perfect symmetry and timing, flinging around the engine room so fast they almost blur to a great, shimmering light, all held in perfect balance and power by the precision of mathematics made live.
Then take her to dine, on whatever you wish, but ensure that you serve, as a focal point (and just to delight her) a portion of romanesco – that the two of you might marvel in wonder at its florets, arranged in perfect fractals by Nature, as if it was explaining “Look! Numbers are everywhere – and these ones taste good”
Afterwards, take her out into the night, where you can both see the stars, drink wine and ponder the finesse of numbers, mulling over the nature of zero, the infinity achievable between any two integers, Fermat’s last theorum, and the wonder of the way that everything in the world comes back to mathematics. Play Bach (for if there were ever a composer who understood the incredible connectedness of mathematics and music and the fact that a high C has the same wavelength as blue…it must surely be he) and marvel together at the sheer brilliance of Lewis Thomas’ idea that this music should be beamed into space to explain our species most fully:
Perhaps the safest thing to do at the outset, if technology permits, is to send music. This language may be the best we have for explaining what we are like to others in space, with least ambiguity. I would vote for Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging of course, but it is surely excusable to put the best possible face on at the beginning of such an acquaintance. We can tell the harder truths later. – Lives of a Cell
Finally, as the night draws to a close, and the muzziness of sweet wine and good company begins to still the conversation from sparkling mathematics to those deep, empty spaces filled with a silence which can only exist between two souls when they are both utterly content; all algorithms aligned, then you might reach out and trace along the lines of her MathGeek tattoo – fingertips to Fibonacci – and see if she gets goosebumps, for if that is the case, then perhaps Pythagorus was (almost) right, and the love shared between you is greater than the sum of the squares of two separate hearts.