Looks like it’s all about the numbers now.  Five hundred can be a tough slog.  500.  How many things do you do 500 times?  One right after the other?  Never, right?  What, you’ve kept track?  Counted them all?  Maybe you should think about that.  Think about what you’re doing keeping track of it.  But it’s okay.  It’s the last chapter. The struggle with numbers is over.

I was on the floor and I wasn’t lying down, but I should have been. Or he should have been.  It was 500 and I wanted to kill him and would have except I’m not a killer.  I went to get my jacket and walked out of the damn place.  Sounds a bit overblown.  Maybe it was.  The hick, the slovenly white man in shorts with the fat gut, stood there with his mouth open.  You hear it everywhere in this town.  The sound of silence.  Means nothing.  It’s night and it’s Vancouver and the testosterone’s flowing.


What a night it’s turning out to be.  I’ve never counted 500 of anything before.  Certainly not the last time I was doing anything of consequence, and it went on for years.  How many 500s is that?  500 + 500 + 500?  On and on.  Ridiculous.  Things you’ve done.   Forget it.  Not worth remembering.  At least not right now.

I wasn’t counting because I didn’t care, but time is shorter now.  It’s worth remembering.  I’m interested in what I’m doing and how many times I’m doing it.  Especially the grind this is, that I thought was behind me.  Wally the grinder.  He found me again.  I hate that guy.

Something like being in prison and waiting to get out, even if you don’t know what prison is like because you’ve never been.  Not that one, anyway.


500 times.  500 miles.  Galaxie 500.  Fortune 500.  Indy 500.  500 Episodes. That’s the one I’m always worried about.  The 500 episodes of my life and what that’s going to look like.

‘If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 500 times.’  The actual quote is, ‘If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a 1000 times.’  Blab on.  It’s over.

It’s just a number.  I had to go back to my high school Latin text because I couldn’t remember, and I used to love Latin, what the numeral is for the concept, the number 500, and I wanted to include that.  D.  It’s D.  It was disappointing.  I thought 500 meant a lot more than ‘D’.  I dumped that idea.  Roman numerals are making a comeback.  Just see.

Everybody knows MMXIV.  It’s a very good year.  Sure it is.

500 means something.  You first learned it back in arithmetic, probably your best course back then.  If you counted enough numbers you got to five hundred.  Loved arithmetic.  A lot of it was on the back of your old scribblers or note books that they used to hand out, or they magically appeared from your parents or something.  Maybe you were forced to buy them yourself.  ‘Hilroy’.  The tables.  All the tables on the backs of the notebooks.

Not only was I unsure if I’d ever find another job, I never wanted any job ever.  Not supported by the evidence, tough guy.  Same goes for interviews.  Despise interviews, but who doesn’t?  Everybody’s tough and interviews are something you have to tough out.  Why wouldn’t you?  Resumes especially.  Loathe them.  But I had one, sort of.

Honestly.  When you start out you can’t conceive of something as huge and ridiculous as 500.  That it’s going to happen to you like that.

More important things are at work here, like this special day.  Happy birthday!







Author: Steven Brown


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