The number four

I might be obsessed with a number that I’ve always related to death because, in the Chinese language, this number sounds like death. It’s the word “death” in a very low-pitched tone. It has been chasing me for several months now, and I don’t know how to escape it, not to mention ignore it. So I’ve decided to look at it whenever I see it, hoping it will whisper the truth.

I think of Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, which are anxiety, stress, dissatisfaction and suffering. Yes, sounds familiar – to anyone.

I think of how Ellen accesses the four chambers of Mrs. Hughes’s heart.

I look at the four wings of a fly and how I once scratched off the wings of a ladybird when it hadn’t adequately pulled its wings in.

I think of how Ellen judges the four human blood groups.

I think of the four seasons, especially my favourite one.

The battery of my Macbook is currently showing 1:12.

I think of the four cardinal directions and how I’m drawn to the far West.

I once heard in my dreams the gallop of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I have only visited three of the four nations of the UK.

I am listening to Nine Inch Nails’ “The Four of us dying.”

My favourite of the Four Elements is probably air because I fear the other three.

And I want to stop right here. It’s painful–this obsession with meaning, despite it all having meant nothing at all. Irrelevance familiarises itself with questions like “What if…”

Four is still a mystery. In whatever playful mood the gods are, I’m not in the mood to demystify anything right now. I’m still trying hard to understand the sentiment of the 21st century, if there is any at all that corresponds conveniently.

Until I find out, I might have to figure out whether or not Four is a curse, a blessing or meaningless…

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