I was a Math nerd growing up, and I liked numbers because they made sense to me and represented a fixed amount that could not change. Unlike people, who were constantly changing and never quite what they appeared, numbers were just numbers.
In other words, I could trust numbers. They didn’t pretend to be my friend, and then make fun of me behind my back. They didn’t make me nervous and cause me to get butterflies in my stomach when they smiled at me. Numbers were safe, and I was good at solving the number riddles my Math teachers presented to me.
So imagine my surprise, Modern Philosophers, when the number 5 showed up at The House on the Hill tonight, and told me he needed to confess. For the record, every number nerd knows that odd numbers are male and even ones are female.
“Despite what the saying says, Austin, numbers lie. A lot. We’re pretty much pathological in our lying, and I just needed to get that off my chest and out into the world,” the number blurted out in one long breath.
I actually expected 5 to burst into flames since the liar wasn’t wearing any pants that could catch on fire.
“I know this is a major letdown, but I wanted you to hear it from me, and not out on the street or even worse, at a Math Club meeting,” 5 continued in a solemn voice. “I’m sorry to shatter your image of us, but we’re not the saints we’ve led the world to believe.”
I sat in silence on the couch, glaring at 5, and sensing my toga getting all up in a bunch around me. He was right. I was upset. Pissed was more like it. Numbers have been the one thing in my life I could depend upon, and I’d put them on a pedestal so high, that this fall was going to be mighty.
“We thought about sending 6 to talk to you, since she’s your lucky number, but we got together on the number line and agreed that it just wouldn’t be right,” 5 rambled on as I continued to give him the evil eye. “6 is devastated, and I need you to trust me when I tell you that she is actually one of the numbers that lies the least.”
How could I believe anything coming out of 5’s mouth at this point? For all I knew, every word was a lie. 6 could be out on the porch laughing at my naivety with a bunch of even, odd, negative, and even imaginary numbers.
In my mind, the entire number line was on fire, and every number had a nose longer than a telephone wire.
How do I trust again after this???