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5/9

“Wiley is thirteen. How old is that in dog years?”

I do some quick math.

“91.”

I’m not the dullest tool in the shed, though I sport some rust these days.

“Guess it’s why he’s on those meds. And why he won’t let you pick him up anymore. He’s just an old man,” she muses.

She turns to me: “How old’s your cat?”

I change the multiplier from seven to six.

“84?”

I’m guessing. But I’m an efficient calculator. I think I’m better at words, though all my tests had me better at math.

“84.”

You have to be resolute about these things.

“She’s 84.”

“But she sleeps on my lap every night”, I say to her as if this makes a difference.

To come up with a quick calculation, you have to compile in tens and collect the difference. Math is gorgeous this way, the way it works. Philosophy is fuzzy, math just functions.

 People make fun of the new math, as if there were an old math. Common Core is the current joke.

Cayde hits the math goals very year. This is what happens when you finally stop borrowing from the tens column.

“Your dog is 91?”

“Jeezus,” I conclude.

We get old, our animals get older, a helluva lot faster.

Frida sleeps on my feet every night, and ratchets the Fahrenheit a few notches. I still can’t calculate the Celsius, though I’m pretty good at math. There is something to do with 5/9, which is the worst fraction to deal with.

5/9. It’s not even even. It’s a horrendous rendition of 4/8, the fuller and plumper bride of ½. Why can’t we deal with things in halves?

Maybe I do hate the new math. Regardless, give me a multiplicative of 7×3, and I’ll give you the correct answer every time.

21, 42, 63, 84.

105, if you wish to continue going.

441, if you want it squared.

I do this in my head all day. Still, I’m better at words.

Five-ninths, because I dislike numbers. Five-ninths, because I prefer words.

 

 

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