A Fistful Of Fives (essay)

A Fistful of Fives

        2015 is a number rooted in 5 (51) and haunted by 25 (52); my life has likewise been rooted and haunted, and this was the year in which I would either vanquish or succumb to the numerological demons that lurk within the powers of five. First, every day since our wedding on 5/5/90, my wife and I have made tally marks in groups of five in a book, with a page each year. Since 2000, the month plus the day plus the year have equaled the number of our anniversary, so our 25th (5 + 5 + 15, 52) anniversary, was due to come on 5/5/15, a fraught and fateful date as you shall see. 35 years before (20 + 15 = 2015 – 1980 = 1990 – 1955 = lucky 7 x 5), my parents had talked excitedly about their upcoming anniversary (wed 7/25/55 = 5+2/52/two 5’s), which was to be their 25th (52, 5 + 2 = lucky 7), but death denied them that joy, so the number 25 has hung like a sword over my head ever since. My mother (and her father) died on 5/2/80 (5 + 2 = lucky 7, 52 = 25); my father died 5 years later on 2/23/85 (2 + 2 + 3 = lucky 7, 2 + 3 = 52 = 25). Furthermore, not only had no one in my family ever made it to their 25th anniversary, none had ever reached their 54th birthday; 2015 was the year both were slated to happen in my life. I was 53, hoping to turn 54 in 2015 (5 x 4 = 20, 5 x 3 = 15); the numbers were stacked against me. Five is supposed to symbolize health, love, and marriage (man = 2, woman = 3, 2 + 3 = 5), yet five felt like the damning number, the knife that was going to take me out like it had the rest of my family.

The powers of 5 could not be denied; they had to be ascended. In 2015, we went from the 25th to the 26th page of our book on 5/5/15, the 125th (53) day of the year, breaking the curse of 52. My wife turned 53 on 6/25 (50 + 51 / 52); I turned 54 on 5/26 (51 / 52 + 50, 5/26 anagram of 6/25) breaking the curse of 53. Our lives, ever rooted in 5 (51), once fearful of 25 (52), have indeed endured to conjure up the critical +1 (50) to go beyond 53 (to 54) and 25 (to 26) and yet beyond to 125 (53) in 2015 (an anagram of 125). The number 125 (53) has been used as a low-ball estimate of the number of times my wife and I have made love on average annually, which not coincidentally works out over 25 (52) years to be 3,125 (55, a fistful of fives). Yes; 5 to the second power had threatened to undercut us, but reaching 5 to the fifth power testifies to the monument of love my wife and I have erected atop the still-smouldering ruins of my earlier family tragedies. 2015 implied 5 (51, the book tallies), induced 25 (52, our anniversary), puzzled 125 (53, 53, 2015 anagram), led to 625 (54, wife’s birthday), amassed 3,125 (55). Love has triumphed; the numbers prove it. I was born in ’61, so in ’16 I will turn 55, (two fives, two hands with digits pressed together, in love and in prayer). I cannot shed 5, but I needn’t dread 5; in fact, I have embraced the powers of five.

 

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