I Hate Numbers

prose on numbers and how they take over our lives


I hate numbers. They take the fun out of everything.

You’re born on a date. And what is a date? A combination of numbers - yuck.

Do you remember that you had a a table of them to memorize growing up?

Slowly they start to take over your childhood. Hey, what did you get?? Tough luck huh. How about for question number…

By the way - did you know that there are 2 kinds of numbers - the Reals and the Imaginaries. We don’t use the imaginary kind - those are for the dreamers.

As you climb through the ranks - uh I mean grades - err see what I mean. Everyone becomes a number.

Soon there are too many numbers and we start to talk in averages. Above average, Below average. Seriously, it’s kind of mean. So we say cum laude.

Honestly, you’d think the madness would end at school, but you can’t get to your next destination without numbers.

Oh - I totally forgot to introduce you. Meet Mr.Money, his entire life is a number. He’ll speak for your success going forward.

Finally, we make it to work. Just another day. Don’t worry the entire team is working together. We just need to hit a target.

Can you tell me what metric you’re using? Are we measuring the right things? C’mon let’s go go go. Drive that number higher.

And slowly … the money grows. The metrics go up. The dates go by - and a single life becomes two.

Congratulations on making it this far - there isn’t much more I know.

So I’ll just jump to the end. Because your heart. Your one heart - starts its final countdown.

And you say - “Heart - I still haven’t learned what makes you happy. But I can tell you that we have the best numbers. We did it old pal. We won.”

Why?

I wanted to take a brief moment to describe what was happening in this piece. A lot of subtleties if you look closer. The theme is to demonstrate how an entire life can go by as we race to get the best numbers. Everything from ranks to scores and bank balances are numbers people strive for. Sometimes in that journey, we lose ourselves, and even sacrifice our happiness. An obsession with numbers. My favorite line is the last one. "We Won". There is no winning life.

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