I don’t like calculations. I don’t like equations. I don’t like computation, arithmetic, addition, subtraction, or multiplication.
I like numbers. I like the bends of them that make no sense, the squiggly nonsense of them. I like looking at the too-fast hand, and trying to puzzle out the mystery of Did I mean that to be a three or an eight?
I like counting. I like the slow and steady climb of them, the way they move and change and look nothing like what came before, but always hang their meaning on the same string. They’re always the same as the number before, just more.
I like to be silly. I like to be young. I like to be the Count, wearing a ridiculous accent and pointing to my valuables, touching each one, and naming them into their collectives. One rubber ducky with an alien antenna. Two rubber duckies with alien antennae. Three rubber duckies with alien antennae. Four rubber duckies with alien antennae, except this one got chewed on by my roommate’s cat…
I like counting years, at birthday parties, in the dark after we’ve sung the song, with the candles still glittering. I like the way the light reflects in our eyes and widens our smiles with orange light and dark shadow. Are you one? Are you two? Are you three? And I like rushing all the numbers together at the last moment, right before the star of the show shouts STOP – Areyoueighteenareyounineteenareyoutwentyareyoutwentyoneareyou – just to make the joke, just to trick them into being older than they are. I like the laughter, not at the joke, but at the twisted tongues, and the way you can’t count that high, that fast, without being that loud.
I like counting days.
Days until: until my birthday with all its jokes, until the next episode of my favorite television show, until the trip across the continent, until the next time I’ll see you.
And days since: since I burned myself cooking, since I started running, since I started that book, since I started this blog, since I last missed a day on this blog…
Two hundred and sixty-eight.
I have posted on this blog two-hundred and sixty eight days in a row. My last record was two-hundred and sixty-three, and I beat that days ago.
I like counting this high, breaking my record every day, and smiling in the light and the shadows, squeezing in as many numbers as I can before something forces me to stop.