We've always been obsessed with numbers. How old are you? TRANSLATION: What are you worth? Tell me, how many mountains have you seen, rivers, births, deaths, how many times have you cried? How many times have you looked in the mirror and wanted to be someone else, have you ever been in love? Have you ever written a love poem, screamed it into your pillow, did the mirrors break? Did you ever wonder why?
The answer is fourteen. It's an answer they don't want to hear.
We've always been obsessed with dates. When is your birthday? TRANSLATION: Who are you? Can we give you a zodiac, hand you a constellation, will your eyes ever twinkle like stars? Will you ever be a poet, will you ever jump off the top of a building, can we assign you a personality? Can you tell me your lineage, compatibility, how will you know when you've met your soulmate? How well do you fit in this box, can you breathe, can you be smaller?
The answer is February 15th, it's easy enough to remember, the day after Valentine's Day, when Susan B. Anthony was born, there's another girl in my English class. On our birthday, we exchange spearmint gum.
We have an obsession, an addiction, a fascination with races, with stairs. I like to imagine the world as a bookshelf. We all have our stories, our main characters, our settings, our covers, and our plot lines. We're science-fiction, biographies, poetry anthologies, historical fiction, mysteries. While we're reading, we're not looking at every page number as our birthday comes around, we just continue to read, we get lost in pages, in moments, in time. Maybe, when we stop for a moment to think, we set our books down, and dog-ear the page, just to stay awhile. Just because we're gods in context, just because we can, just because it's our book, just because we can't change the story, doesn't mean we can't prolong the end. It doesn't mean we can't have some say, that we can't smear the ink, cross out words, write in translations, highlight where it felt like our spines were violin strings, and God was playing vibrato, rip out pages, throw our books into rivers and scream. We can do what we want, fourteen or not.