As it is, due to some perverse coincidence, this year’s Valentines falls on the first day of the Chinese New Year (Happy Halloween, folks). And I knew then that this is hardly a random concurrence, which is of course a hideously redundant thing to say, since when was there ever a genuine fluke of randomness? Not a few days ago, the single remaining cigarette in my pack broke near the filter. Helpless in my craving for nicotine, and acutely aware that the bloody stick costs two pesos, I was forced to try the sheer novelty of unfiltered tobacco. The next time I bought a pack, I spilled the contents onto a table and snipped off all the butt-ends.
But I digress—my current goal is to make sense of what has become of my February. It kicked off splendidly with a rather sharp jab at my ego. When unpleasant things happen to you, you make sense of it by employing a vast number of mechanisms. These include logic, humor, and conspiracy theories. There is also an ongoing trend among young people my age that some call “emo mode,” which sounds reminiscent of sci-fi robots. (“Bumblebee, you look positively devastated again. You must stop reverting to emo mode each time someone refuses to be your wife. It is a sad waste of fuel.”)
But having found out that logic and humor require a certain brainpower, and that going emo requires tedious artistry, I opted for a flimsy type of the conspiracy theory, replete with Chinesey numerology, to explain my love-luck this month.
1. February 14, 2010 translates to 021410.
2. The sum of the digits in 021410 is 8.
3. The product of the non-zero digits in 021410 is also 8.
4. There are 8 letters in the word “February.”
1. The number 8, flipped clockwise by 90 degrees, becomes the mathematical symbol for infinity ∞.
2. A repetitive pattern of 8s reinforces the message that my affaires du Coeur this month might happily continue into infinity in their current state.
3. Therefore, I must resolve to do something to at least avert the bad luck as much as I can and as long as I can. Courses of action may include:
a. A return to heterosexuality.
b. Cosmetic surgery.
c. An active social life.
d. The serious study of Feng Shui and other Chinese wizardry.
Several friends have already offered to give me their two cents worth (It did not cross their profound minds that their advice might be unsolicited). Vanderbilt: Combat the tyranny of the heart by getting your head high, man. Hahaha! Adenosine triposer: Study chemistry—alone. The incomparable and fictional Selkirk: You know what I have to say. And the lesbian community: We still love you, honey.
Not a few weeks ago, I met Nyl and Jeff for coffee, and over cheap caffeine and menthol cigarettes, Jeff ominously predicted that our gang will find each other again come the fourteenth. I don’t remember saying anything in reply to that. Nor do I remember Nyl saying anything in reply to that. I guess we both understood what Jeff meant. If all else fails, there is always, undeniably and fortunately, strength in numbers.