by admin on February 20, 2011

purple lock

one item lost in esme’s gym-fire was a small, seemingly insignificant thing, but one dear to esme’s heart:  her combination lock.  in the grand scheme of things, i know this is a trivial problem.  have you ever read the novel LITTLE BEE?  little bee, and millions like her would be absolutely ecstatic to have a problem such as losing a combination lock. 

that said, let me explain the significance of this particular lock.  first of all, it had a striking appearance—-a blue face with esme’s initial painted on it in red nail-polish.  you can’t imagine the number of people who have admired it over the years!  the idea, of course, was to be able to find it in a sea of lockers, rather like putting an orange flag on your car so as to find it in the parking lot. 

however, the real magic of this lock was its combination:  39-17-34.  can any of you guess why this was such a good series of numbers?  close your eyes for a moment and mediate on the question, and see if the answer will come to you……..no? ok, here’s why i loved this series of numbers:  i could remember them!  39 = one year before the pivotal age of 40; 17 = one year before the pivotal age of 18; and 34 = one year before the pivotal age of 35.  at 18, of course, one is legally an adult; at 35 one needs an amnio if pregnant; at 40 one’s fertility is seriously diminished.  having gone beyond the reproductive years (not to mention the years when one might be carded) these numbers are no longer central to my calculations, but they continued to provide a useful mnemonic!  i bought a new lock in purple, but the combination is…..nothing special.

adrift in a sea of numbers,



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