**Author: Don Nigroni**

Dr. Humphrey Devereux is the famous polymath who won the first Nobel Prize in mathematics. We were best friends since we were mischievous little boys. He became a mathematical physicist and I’m still an English Literature professor. He was slightly bigger than me but much stronger.

Humphrey has some truly amazing mathematical abilities. He could tell you off the top of his head the answer to incredibly complicated calculations, like the result of 3,478 times 9,403. People thought it was just a trick but I knew better. However, he frequently didn’t know what day of the week it was.

Two weeks ago, he told me, “I know who God is and you don’t.” I thought if anyone knew who God was then it was him.

Humphrey was a modern-day follower of the 6th century BC Greek philosopher Pythagoras. He led a secret, esoteric brotherhood and today is best remembered for the Pythagorean theorem. In antiquity, he was best known for a doctrine: all things are numbers.

And, according to Humphrey, “God is a specific mathematical formula.”

“Well, are you going to tell me the formula?” I asked.

He just laughed and replied, “Yeah, like you’d understand it. But if the values for all of the variables were known then you could explain everything and do incredible things.”

“And you think you could do that.”

“Pythagoras knew the universal mathematical notation and the right value for a key variable, the geometric formula for a monad, a point within a circle. But he didn’t know higher math. Nobody did back then. Once that geometric formula is inserted into the God Formula then, using higher math, you can calculate the unknown values and know everything about everything and accomplish unthinkable feats.”

Yesterday, the day just before his 70th birthday, Humphrey dropped by my apartment and told me, “I finally figured out the God Formula. Well, technically, a quantum supercomputer helped. But God then manifested Himself.”

“God’s a male?”

“Whatever.”

“And what did He have to say for Himself?”

“He explained how to reverse time. By simply inserting the appropriate values into the God Formula and using reverse mathematics, I can make time go backward for any period of time. And then, like a swinging pendulum, make it go forward again for a designated interval. I can make time repeat itself over and over again forever within a specified time span.”

“You can do that by writing a mathematical formula on a blackboard in some universal mathematical language?”

“I merely have to think it in order to activate it,” he replied

“Even if you could do that, why would you?”

“To cheat death.”

“You want to reverse time before you die?”

“Living life backward would seem just as natural as living life forward.”

“And do you have any idea for how long you’d like to have time flow backward before reversing it again to flow forward?”

“You should know the answer to that,” he said.

“Me, I know nothing about higher math and even less about reverse mathematics.”

“But you know arithmetic. And you know exactly how old I’ll be tomorrow.”

Interesting concept. I take it Dr. Devereux, at the end, is concerned that the English prof will “think” Dr. Devereux out of existence?