Musings on the number 11

As the clock strikes 11 each night, my mind should be shutting down. But instead it’s getting ramped up to write. I type a bit, then look at the bottom right of the screen, where the numbers keep getting higher and higher and higher. Until they hit 00:00. Which means I’m screwed.

11 is the number of minutes I tell myself I’m going to stay in bed after my alarm clock goes off, on mornings that come after nights when I let that clock hit 00:00. Then I stay in bed 11 times as long and get to work 11 minutes after I intended to and stand in a line of 11 people at Starbucks to get a tall decaf carmel Frappucino light no whip (even though it costs 11 times more than any cup of coffee should).

11 is the number of the bus on Lincoln Avenue, which I’ve only taken once. It’s pretty slow.

11 is the number that designates November, the month of my birth. And the 11th day of the 11th month is Veteran’s Day, which always makes me think of marching in the Lyons parade in middle school, twirling our batons in our bright orange scratchy V-neck sweaters with a black tiger patch on the front, and eating cold hot dogs at the VFW free lunch before loading the buses to return to school.

11 is the floor I lived on when I first moved to Chicago…until a year and a half ago. It wasn’t really the 11th floor. It was the 12th, but the building had 13 floors — and no one wants to live on the 13th floor, so they called the ground floor “L” and the second floor “1”.  My kitchen had 11 square feet of floor space — max.

11 is approximately the number of Frosted Mini Wheats I eat when I get home from work after an 11-hour day. Then I have another two bowls. But I convince myself that I am at least consciously having more than one serving.

11 is the number of kleenexes my cats have devoured since I caught a cold this week, now that the box is sitting beside my bed and not on my dresser. It’s delightful to start out with a holey one.

11 is the number of minutes I’ll sit in the dentist’s office tomorrow waiting for my appointment. Then they’ll tell me for the 11th time that I should floss every day. Duh. My mom told me that when I was in kindergarten.

Ah, 11. So simple. 1+1.


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