Navajo people are supposedly really good at algebra and geometry, essentially all the eleventh grade math I had to repeat in summer school. The Navajo language is very visual and tactile. To speak this language is to describe your subject in the exact coordinates and mass it holds in reality’s grid.
Distance, volume, solving for X are all we do by merely asking for directions to the Circle K or asking your mother to get you another pop outta the fridge. This is why we can do math so well. Take any moment from me right now and dissect it, you’ll see I embody that ability to spatially relate and examine patterns. I was raised within that grid and therefore absorbed its lattice of thinking and experiencing.
Violet plus Eddie equaled love. Big fat capital L-O-V-E, luv. It began on November third when I could wait no longer for Eddie to ask me to kiss him. I suggested it then he smiled and reached his hands out to hold my face as he touched me with his warm soft lips never losing smiling formation. My god, the first time I’d ever kissed a Lakota. His quantum of 29/64ths with my 2/4ths made 61/64ths of two powerful nations merging cultures and tongues. The mathematical possibilities were endless.
In that moment there was pure harmony. Either a zero or a hundred percent. Not sure which was better. A moment of unconditional acceptance and faith in the growth of an infinite division. Like a watchful calculator, that beautiful acceptance of the time after computing and the appearance of the first tender figures. That’s what our love felt like.
But in the back of my mind I wanted to skip ahead with Eddie. I wanted so much to get past our first 90 days and be firmly in a history of me and he with a future of us easily projected ahead. In this instance I really can only know thoroughly, as much as I believe I do, why I wanted to skip ahead. Equation number one: Me plus kindness equals fear.
But it ended on January 12. Seventy days we spent together.
I’m trying to add it up. But I find I come out with at least two answers from two separate but related problems: 1) Him and 2) Me.
1) Why did he stop loving me? First I take out of the equation the accusation that I cheated on him, because I didn’t. Not only that, I hear this accusa-tion 83 days post break-up. ---”Cheating” was the first thing I said to the last boyfriend when I broke-up with him. He admitted to it too, finally, 190 days after I found out via our good friend Facebook.---
2) What will I do? Number one, cry. Re-check my work.
101 days post break-up, my brain has still not stopped begging questions and definitely not accepted a future with children that have not 61/128ths Native DNA. [End Page 60]
Rhiana Yazzie is a Navajo playwright, director, and actor based in Minnesota. She is a two time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow and was a Playwrights’ Center Core Member for three years. Her most recent commissions include a joint commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the New York Public Theater to write a play for American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. She created New Native Theatre in 2009. She is working on a new radio comedy-drama series, Little Apple Big Apple, a book of short stories, and a new musical comedy among other plays.