odd numbers

by Kristen

I have a thing about odd numbers . . . I don’t like them. Fives are tolerable, but the rest of them—I’m not a fan.

Turning even-numbered ages doesn’t bother me, but the odd years irk me. I set the volume on electronic devices to even numbers. I eat candies in pairs. I favor even over odd. It’s inexplicable. And a bit embarrassing.

Maybe it has something to do with symmetry. Odd numbers are unbalanced. They can’t be evenly divided. They’re lopsided. They’re . . . odd.

Or maybe it has to do with fairness and evenness. I long for fair, for even—right up until I realize what I’d have coming to me if life were fair, if everything was even. Fair is not equal and equal is not fair. No matter what the thesaurus says, they are not interchangeable. My head calls for equal but my heart longs for fair. And I’m left holding the odd pieces of imperfection.

I chafe against odd numbers for the same reason I chafe against grace. It isn’t fair. It isn’t equal. It isn’t a quantity to be parceled out in evenly divided amounts. It’s irrational and it’s glorious.


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