Sunday, October 12, 2014

Don't worry, baby, we're both evens

Photo by Herb Ascherman

When I was 28 I was awesome. Everyone knew it.

When you're 28 and you step into the set, everything stops. I mean just LOOK at that smirking two tickling that beauteous eight. Anyone can see that party's going on all night long. I was sittin' pretty at 28.

Then four rolls onto the scene.

Your squares are totally down, jamming with their roots, hanging around the Pythagorean theorem and that. But four? He's the smoothest square around. So when he started with his It's an integer thing and Don't worry, baby, we're both evens and Your beauteous eight is a cube of your sexy two. I was toast. Goddamn four. Just let me be your denominator. Don't you want to be my numerator?

I let him divide me.

I know, I know. I know. But COME ON. It was FOUR.

So that's how I ended up as seven, a miserable goddamn prime—only divisible by one and myself. I might as well have been shackled next to pi and the rest of the irrationals. No one hangs with your primes except your other primes, which are worse than your fractions, if you can believe that.

But seven has its advantages. You've got a little luck in your pocket. So after I'd been seven for three years one night, what happens? Another seven comes sauntering over pretty as you please and gives me that look. I didn't even have to think about it. We got squared.

Hello forty-nine.

And I thought 28 was so fly. Twenty-eight's got nothing on 49. I'll rock this square for as long as I can: flirting with 50, counting with the cubes, adding with the odds.

At least until he comes along.

Because while this game may feel infinite while you're playing it, every number on the board knows it ain't. Whether you're a couple of slinky nines spooning inside 99 or poor ol' one-third, he's coming for you. Every one of us looks the same to his giant dead eye.

Just one tangential glance off of zero and it's the end of the line. You become nothing.

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Text by humble hostess.

Art by Liz Maugans, "When I Was 28 I Was Awesome," 2014, screen print collage, 26" x 40", now showing through Dec. 19, 2014 as part of SCREEN PLAYS by Liz Maugans at 1point618 gallery.

Press: Cleveland Scene.  

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Anonymous said...



DogsDontPurr said...

Bravo!!! That was fabulous.

Anonymous said...


For reasons which I can't begin to describe I am physically and psychologically incapable of sitting still for an 'odd' if I have any possible way around it. Cable TV? It's gotta be pretty damn good viewing for me to sit through a program on an odd channel. In the car the stereo volume ALWAYS lands on an even number. A CD? I almost always start on an even number and then avert my eyes as it cycles past the inferior odds. And tipping? Everyone loves us at places we frequent often. We always round the check up to the next even number and then, absent a coffee-in-lap episode, we round up the tip too.

I didn't make any of those things up.

Your piece is lovely, Ms E


Michael Lawless said...

How the mind baffles our consciousness...we can times and divide any rational thought. When I hit 50, I imagined I had thrown up a ladder resting on 60. Each year I would climb a rung. When I reached the top, I threw that damn ladder away. But hey, whatever works.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

It's hip to be square.

philbilly said...

"In the car the stereo volume ALWAYS lands on an even number."

I was once in a Very Serious Meeting with Very Serious Suits discussing Very Serious Stuff. When a shark asked "What level of capacity are you at now?" the production guy says, in a cockney accent, "We're on elevun, mate!"
Almost pissed my Suit laughing.

Blank stares all around from the other Suits.

philbilly said...

better link

Anonymous said...

Hey phil-I saw that film when it came out in one of the cinema series at Kent. Leaving, there were a small but nonetheless quite noticeable number of viewers who really had zero idea the thing was all a satire.