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August 21, 2020

Remember when every major highway used to have a 70 MPH speed limit? Then Jimmy Carter saved gasoline by ratcheting it down to 55. Then, well, gas prices eased and the speed limit went back up. But not all the way back up (except in far way rural America) to 65 MPH.

Did we drive any differently because different numbers were on signs?

I turned 65 years old a few hours ago. I had 60% more mass than I am now twelve tears ago, was 40% less a decade ago than I am now, but remain defendably obese by wrecking myself 6.75 days a week on my exercise equipment.

Do I act differently at different masses?

Numbers always change, humans not-so-much. No matter who runs for president, if two run, both get the votes of over 40% of those voting. 20% of Americans smoke cigarrettes, even though they cost a great deal, and factually kill you. We, the fat, remain mostly fat no matter what numbers are on the scale.

Whether humans react to numbers, numbers change humans. My siblings never had the numbers on their transcript my father, No. 2 at Boys High in Brooklyn’s class of 1928, expected. He judged them, they reacted, he left me alone. Actually alone. Their numbers hurt them, and changed me.

When she was pregnant in her mid ’30’s my wife received different delivery care because of “maternal age”. I know people who intentionally do not address how old they are.

Perhaps 100,000 people died of our present plaque because their age changed their bodies enough to allow COVID to kill them, rather than destroy a few weeks of millions of others.

And people celebrate birthdays, when they achieved nothing more than being alive for them. I feel no joy, but I am happy that others are happy. My numbers somehow let them see me for a moment. The one human good of Social Media is that those participating connect when a day happens.

Today, like everyday I finish the cranking on my exercise bike, go to work, have dinner. But our family is together, for the last time for a few years as one of us, for the opportunities life affords us, goes away. Being tigether automatically achieves a celebration – that is enough for me.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 22, 2020 2:32 pm

    Applause to those brilliant minds.

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