May 01, 2003

I dropped from Honors Chemistry to Regular back in January, because science makes me want to cry tears of boredom, and in Honors Chemistry, she probably would've made me figure out the chemical equations of my tears.

Somewhere between NaCl and H2O, I'd assume, but assuming always got points knocked off my lab grades.

So now I'm in regular Chemistry, and it's pretty much everything a lazy, lazy boy could ask for: half the time we don't even do anything, we just watch taped episodes of Forensic Files, and for the last couple of weeks we aren't even doing chemistry, we're doing a special unit on forensics. Right now, we're on fingerprinting.


Let me start off by saying I have the pimpinest right-thumb print in history. There's simply no doubt. We did an assignment where our groups would chose one finger out of our combined thirty (except for the Team Farming Accident, which had a meager twenty seven to pick from), put it on a piece of paper, attach it to cards with all our fingerprints, and trade with other groups to see if they could figure out whose it was. Our group selected my right thumb print, because as I said, it simply rocks ass. We traded with a group of girls, and I swear it turned them on. This is one sexy thumbprint we're dealing with here. The kind of thing you'd get tattooed across your back all big-like, but you wouldn't have to explain it to people because they'd be too busy being dumbstruck.

I've spent the last couple class periods staring into these loops and whorls, so perfectly transferred to paper, rolled with the delicacy of a seasoned fingerprinting veteran, not a smudge among them. And they're amazing. They look even better under a microscope, where there appears to be a good mile between every ridge. And if you stare long enough, one eye closed, it's no longer your fingerprint, it's an Aztec burial mound. It's an open letter from the time when we needed, badly, to keep our grip on things, namely branches as we careened from one to the next through the trees.

And if you stare long enough, you can see how we kept our grip when one of those branches snapped and it wasn't a branch anymore, it was a club.

And if Jimmy Buffet's playing softly on the lab stereo and you're the only one in here anymore but this is just more interesting than going to sleep on your desk back in the classroom, you can read the history of human civilization in your finger oils plus ink on a sheet of printer paper.

And the bell rings, and you recall that we have pattern-seeking minds: we read more into things then there are things to be read, and it's time for fourth hour.


The number 27 seems to be coming up a lot lately. Every time I look at the clock, it reads X:27. On MusicMatch Jukebox, 26 is too soft and 28 is too loud, but 27 is just right. The store I work at is Number 27. Everywhere I go it greets me like an old friend.

Am I a convert to numerology? No. I just decided to look for a pattern that wasn't there.

After I got my digital camera, I decided it might be fun, just for some artsy bullshit with no particular purpose, to take pictures of various manifestations of the number 27. My birthday, my brother's birthday, my stepmom's birthday, and my cousin's birthday are all December 27th. It's my brother's hockey jersey number, also his self-proclaimed lucky number. What better number could there be?

So I did. And like I said, it started showing up everywhere, to the point where I don't think, Another strange incidence of numerical repetition! I think, but of course. It's simply the best number there is.

Does it mean anything? Of course not. It's a double digit number, and there are only, what, ninety of those? Only sixty appear in the minute portion of the time. All those numbers are everywhere all the time, it only seems to be all over the place because I chose to notice it.

If it had been thirteen, it would be the same thing. Or guys named Steve. They're everywhere. Point is...

We naturally look for order in chaos. We want to see common threads running through all walks of life. And sometimes there are, that's when we discover things like relativity and gravity and that's when I fail science tests. And sometimes, the only threads are the ones we imagine. Sometimes, the noise of existence is just that: noise. This post was nothing but me enjoying rubbing nouns and verbs together, any meaning you got out of it was thanks to the gland in your brain that says all things ought to have meaning. And it would be nice if they did. But they don't, always.

And all you really have are your family, your friends, maybe, Springsteen and Paul Simon songs, and a lot of useless pictures of the number 27.

He says there's no doubt about it
It was the myth of fingerprints
I've seen them all and man
They're all the same

-Paul Simon, "All Around The World or The Myth of Fingerprints"

Posted by DC at May 1, 2003 01:48 AM
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