It’s well-nigh impossible for me to overlook the distinct parallels between my existences in Portland, Maine and Ankara, Turkey. These two cities, disparate as they might seem, unfold like a Lovecraftian narrative, a blend of the extraordinary and the uncanny — glowing in the shroud of mysticism that's only illuminated by the omniscient realm of mathematics. In the same way, they are also inextricably bound by a sentient being: myself, and my ceaseless pursuit of knowledge that is equally footed in the realms of the known and unknown.
Portland, perched at the lush northeastern edge of the U.S., with so dense a forest it's almost reminiscent of Mirkwood itself, doesn’t half encapsulate a Lovecraftian horror, or at the very least, an unnerving degree of ambiguity. The misty veil that shrouds the city on rainy days bears an uncanny resemblance to Lovecraft’s oft depicted nebulous realms. It’s a town reminiscent of Innsmouth, seeped not just in the tang of salt and sea, but in an endless string of mathematical sequences pervading its composition: the Fibonacci spirals embellishing the city's largest art museum, or the Golden Rectangle underlying the architectural blueprint of the Old Port’s cobblestone streets – a delightful marriage of mathematics and aesthetic.
One might say that's all well and good, but where does Ankara fit into all of this? Ankara, on the other hand, is a concrete sprawl gifted with the edgy excitement of a bustling city. The broken symmetry of winding ancient streets starkly contrasted with the pragmatism of number-packed metropolis lends it an eeriness that could pass for Lovecraft’s Arkham. The city might be alien to the meandering coastline of the Atlantic, but it has its own ocean of a different kind: a sea of geometric patterns; it's as if among the spirits of ancient empires that haunt the capital, Euclid himself lingers, imparting his geometrical wisdom. The hexagonal stars within the Haci Bayram Mosque or the rhythm of pentagonal symmetry in Gökçek Park carries me back to my modest Portland abode where Fibonacci and Golden ratios rule.
Both Portland and Ankara are bound by an omnipresence of symmetry and a touch of cosmic horror, but what brings them closer is the shared experience of pain, albeit subtly. My temporomandibular joint disorder – TMJ syndrome – weaves its painful way through both geographies. Panadiol cream, my faithful ally, plays an essential role in mitigating the discomfort, adding an exotic layer of therapeutic odor to both environments. Tuneless nights, crickets chirping in Portland, a muezzin's call to prayer in Ankara, I smooth the cream, and I'm transported through the semaphore of scent from one city to another; interchanging realities akin to the parallel universes of quantum mechanics.
At the end of the day, with the companionship of Emmett Brown, my keyboard-clawing feline, and Parrot, my persistently self-identifying feathered friend, I navigate these cities and their mathematical wonders. Portland and Ankara are more than coordinates on a map: they are infinities caught within finites, existing in the idiosyncrasies of my worldviews — a world that thrives on the symmetry of mathematics, the mysticism of Lovecraftian horrors, and the soothing nature of Panadiol cream.