This is a response to the GBE2 prompt: Numbers.
By the numbers, I am losing. I am slack-jawed on a stool, begging money that is owed me, and placing one more bet. Twenty on the grey horse! By the numbers, I am cooked. A big win right now could save me, but it won't. Big wins tend not plunk themselves in plot lines at this point. More likely, Vinnie will take off my thumb.
This is holiday budgeting. Somebody has cooked the books and Guido will kill us all.
This remark keeps running through my head: "Is this just math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better,or is this real?"
You know, I'm not a Republican myself, but I deeply sympathize with Rove. Some creative math would not go amiss. This creative interpretation of numbers can span party lines all the way, in my case, to somewhere left of Ralph Nader. We can all partake. Imagine a future that belies that stark and ugly truth. Look away, I say and think of something else.
Christmas must be saved. And if I could understand financial derivatives, I think we would be all right. But I kept dropping out of Algebra. Is there a mathematician in the house?
Numbers sometimes obfuscate. It is hard to find the truth in red and black. The details are in the values. Both kinds. Old furniture and instrument lessons. Worn Target socks and organic pears. Four year-old winter jackets on our kids and too much homeschool curriculum on our shelves. What else do you cut when you are cutting apart your values? We can all wear socks with holes, but it seems harder to wake Christmas morning with empty stockings. So much of whining, I think. Buck up and make fudge again that nobody needs to eat. You can afford the marshmallow creme.
It's the thought that counts. Eat your damned fudge.
We keep on at the track like drunken fools, giving our kids a middle-class lifestyle. We are betting our hard work now against the possibility of penury later on. We're all in.
I've been all in from the beginning, when as a cafe barista with a positive pregnancy test, a twenty-one year-old teenager who hadn't finished school, I decided, Yes. I am keeping that baby. There was never any way forward but a willingness to do math that made me feel better, because the real math didn't add up.
I'm not very practical. What I am is committed.
Christmas. It comes. It has come when we had nothing, come when we felt flush. I have made it out of flour and water and kneaded it with my hands into something that would glisten when brushed with egg yolk and placed in the oven to bake. I have converted base scraps into pride. One year, my kids received presents from the Giving Tree. Many more, we gave them. We have made ornaments with clay, torn holly from the wood, and made merry. Christmas always came. And year, after year, presents were torn open, stockings full, lights twinkling upon our tree. We ate roast beef, drank cider and paid the piper later.
These numbers don't add up. This is just math I do as a mother to make myself feel better. Magical math. It doesn't matter.
Christmas will still come.
*Note: Sorry if this is sort of whiny. I try not to have that be a style. Numbers are a loaded topic around here right now. I sat on this for two days and it was the best I could do with it. At least if I am going to do the NaBloPoMo thing. You can always nod politely and read what I put up next time instead.