Occasionally someone asks me, "What's your favorite number?"
You know, like we are supposed to be partial to an amount. I favor a quantity. I heart a point in an order. I have an intense connection with an integer.
And then the big summer finale: the last night of camp was a "banquet." Not exactly formal (boys' summer camp, remember?), but still a little more pomp for the circumstance. And on the table-setting placard, there it was: The camp was celebrating its 32nd summer of operation. Creepy, eh?
Leyland number, since it is a possible answer to the equation x to the power of y plus y to the power of x. And finally, it is a happy number, which is a bit more difficult to explain but, you know, I'm happy it's happy.
C.E. is considered the year Christ was crucified. In the Kabbalah, God is said to have made the world in 32 phases. Hence, in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, there are 10 emanations (Sephiroth) and 22 paths between them resulting in the number 32 -- the paths are usually numbered starting at 11, so the last path ("Tau") is the 32nd path. In several psychic practices, the 32nd Path is considered a link between the physical and astral plane and is the route shamen and psychics take to practice extra sensory perception. 32 is also considered the occult opposite of 23, another powerful number about which whole books and films (bad ones...with Jim Carey!) have been made.
Yeah, yeah. It's a number. And numbers line up with things in the universe. And this one lined up with me when I was 13. So maybe that is, well, "lucky." Maybe that is a reason to favor it.
After that summer, I didn't really think much of it until I approached the age of 32. I worried that I had been given some sort of cryptic premonition. Was I gonna die? Make my fortune? Change the world? Only, my 32nd year came and went and nothing really momentous happened. Soon, I put it out of my mind again.
Maybe it is odd for a 45 year-old man to have a favorite number. Maybe it is odder still to see cryptic messages from the universe in a comic book. But then I realized: It's been 32 years since that summer when the number 32 came to me. So, me? I'm listening! And I am looking for the path. Outside tonight, the temperature is falling to the freezing point and the first winter precipitation is sticking to the trees. And I feel a little bit like half a square and half a cube. And God help me, this number does make me happy!