Some Numbers

My life has always been a numbers game. Ever since I first learned the properties of numbers, I have been obsessed with their relationships to one another, and to the rest of the world. There is a way that numbers make me feel, each one has a different flavor or set of flavors that change and shift depending on my mood. 3s are sometimes comforting, sometimes annoying. 7s are majestic one day, clumsy and falling short the next. I can’t explain why I do this, I just do, and I can’t really make any sense of it.

Of course, numbers are assignations of other thing’s worth as well. If you want to know how good something is, there is generally a sliding scale that will tell you, in dollars, in days, in karats, in something. Sometimes 80 is better than 60, sometimes 60 is better than 80, but we get used to the scales we use.

My friend Steve thinks the number 227 appears more than most numbers. It isn’t true, of course, and he knows that, but he likes pointing it out. 227 is the heaviest I have ever been, in pounds. 227 pounds on my five foot ten frame was enough weight to make my knees buckle and walk with a cane.

I chose a number, 1,1,2003 to make a promise to myself that when I reached another number 5,11,2003, I would have had a few things accomplished. I chose 10,000 as a dollar figure and I chose 200 in pounds as a goal. 10,000 dollars in half a year would still put me right around poverty level, and 199 pounds would still be 25 pounds overweight, so these weren’t unreasonable goals. I set these goals because without the setting of them I was achieving nothing.

It’s hard to describe the length and breadth of my failure on both fronts. I was down to 210 at one point, as of this morning I am back to 218. I have made so little money this year I have twice had to ask Jordana to pay our cellphone bill, ostensibly my gift to her. More numbers have shifted, my waist size going from 34 to 36 and now finally to 38. My jacket size from a 42 to a 46. I feel like I am going to the gym every morning and every drop of sweat that rolls down my fatty sides is matched by two drops that I am retaining, swelling to the point where my chest and stomach hair will begin to look sparse and stick straight out from my skin under the pressure.

And the numbers on the clock keep shifting. The going to sleep number, sometimes as early as 11:30, has been creeping back down to single digits again while I keep watch over the clock like a paranoid delusional afraid that time won’t move without my willing it. And my alarm, set at 7:05, keeps getting turned off at 6:50 or 6:40 after I wake up just after six and wait expectantly for time to catch up to me. I usually can grab a half hour or so in the afternoon so I don’t feel sleep deprived, but I feel out of control when my body and mind won’t obey.

I’m sure I will get a concerned email from my mom, one of maybe five people who read this blog, so let me just say it’s been a tough week and a tough morning, but I am always happy when I am either cooking, being with Jordana, seeing my friends or seeing my family. So don’t put me on suicide watch. I just weighed myself this morning, and the sense of disappointment was not something I can ignore.