When you grow up with an identical twin, you are shielded from your own oddities. The person you spend the most time with often shares your same weirdness and so you think that what you’re doing is normal.
Case in point, for as long as I can remember, in the car I played a little game in my mind. I held an imaginary scimitar sword. I cut down trees and telephone polls on the roadside. This was before handheld devices and even before Walkmans to keep me entertained. At some point it went terribly wrong. First, it became more difficult because these sticky webs started growing in my mind in the air around my desired targets. I had to learn how to cut through the webs in time to cut down the poles. Second, my sword started misbehaving. I couldn’t control it it. it would fly up and down in the wind or become floppy. My game was ruined, and to this day I cannot play it.
Then one day, I told Paul about it. To my surprise, he was doing the same thing AND he had the same problems. So, it was easy to conclude that all of this was normal. I’m sure all kids have little games like that, but this is oddly specific. I love this about being a twin.
Enter numbers. At some point in my early childhood, I began assigning characters to the numbers one through ten. So, did Paul, though when I asked him about it this week, his recollection was very vague so we could not compare notes. Perhaps we started assigning characters because of something we saw on Sesame Street. We’ll never know. The cast is as follows:
One – God
Two – Priest
Three – Peasant Farmer
Four – Squire to Seven
Five – Town fool (drunk)
Six – Princess
Seven – Hero Knight
Eight – Evil Henchman to Nine
Nine – Evil Adviser to the King
Ten – King
Naturally, this makes mathematics complicated for me. I favor certain numbers, and despise others. Seven is the best number of the 10. He’s the hero. They all have colors as well. Seven is blue, which also happens to be my favorite color. In learning my multiplication tables, I never got really good at my nines and eights. I wanted to spend as little time working with them as possible. It’s no surprise that I’m terrible with math.
So, can you guess why 42 (which is my current age) is my favorite number? I’ll spell it out for you. 6 x 7 = 42. 42 represents the perfect union of the Princess and the Hero Knight. The fact that there is a 42 means that the battle was won, the princess was saved from 9 and his evil henchman 8. and the kingdom was restored. 42 is my happiest number, my favorite number. It’s the number I aspire to be in my life. And now here I am! 42 years old.
Just one more reason my wife says I’m complicated.