Saturday, August 16, 2008


Science News, one of several scientific magazines that arrives in my humble digs regularly, mentioned the loneliness of the number “one.”

One car on a long, monotonous and deserted highway out west. One person at what was going to be a large reception. One person staying after school, alone in the otherwise vacant building.

You can take away one or more people/items from a larger quantity and there isn’t much difference. But if there is only one to begin with and that disappears, there is not only nothing left, but it doesn’t even have a memory of itself. “One” is the barest of existence, very nearly nothingness, which is what will be should anything happen to it.

We are social people; that’s how we were created. So much so, that a recluse is somewhat of an unusual person. People who are crabby and want nobody around them are pitied. The Shirley Temple movies were full of cranks like that, people she eventually melted by the end of the last reel.

We pair off, guy and gal; sometimes two guys or two gals (statement of fact, which I won’t get into here). It takes two of us to make a third; it takes two of us just to tango, for that matter, and Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar didn’t write “Tea For Two” because “Tea For One” didn’t fit any rhyme pattern later in the song. I don’t mind being alone – for a while. Then where is everyone?


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