I was not always two. I started out as one and found myself fondling numbers all throughout high school and beyond. My head turned toward two’s with necks curved like entangled giraffes all twisted and curious about the other’s tongue texture. I thought I wanted to be a two because one felt so lonely. One never talked back to me. When I went to see a movie, as the credits rolled, there was no one beside me to wipe my cheek or admire the amount of names that went into creating its content or simply, explain why it ended in such a way. I began to develop number envy. This developed slowly and became more profound after my first break-up. My first–a detail which assures that there were others.
When one becomes two, then four or five, allowing room for addition and oftentimes, subtraction. When four or five leads to a headache or inability to balance names and locations. If you’re lucky, you immediately move to a new state where there is no chance of running into all the numbers and letters. Generally though, this is the time we learn how small this world is (with emphasis on the lesbian community). I am not much of a mathematician. I always use a calculator—never relying on my ability to gather a correct sum.
Maybe I should start at the beginning. Valentine’s Day advertises itself as a celebration of love and cacao seeds, but really it is a reminder of numbers. Watching hands no longer swing freely at people’s sides, they become immersed within the fleshy weave of other fingers. Flowers are everywhere. Suddenly, you develop an allergy toward happiness. You are one in a world full of two’s. The first time I swallowed a plus sign, it remained inside me undigested for six and a half years. My two inspired me to come out of the closet—which I never really understood to be inside. We merged our letters together. My name was unofficially changed to ___andAimee. I was part of the two-club and no longer took phone calls from one’s. I lived in multiples. Multiple dating with other two’s, dinner parties where we played games with already-created partners, and movies were never seen without the other. I noticed my preference of films altering. I read less—not a two activity. I gained weight because time spent walking was replaced by time spent sitting next to my two entwined like the number eight without knowledge of whose limbs were whose.
Slowly, I developed a craving for one. Two gave me cramps—my fingers were no longer free. My lips grew chapped from kissing. And I never watched the credits anymore because making-out grew precedence over plot and commitment of storyline. I was living in a world of beginnings and middles with no end. I yearned for the end. And it did. Two became one after years of combined bank statements and furniture investments, apartment renting, address changes, and the build-up of body trust. When the sadness subsided, there was a feeling of relief. Now, I can watch documentaries and movies based upon life-altering events rather than plots doused in fake blood and haunted houses. I can read all the books I’ve missed out on because of time spent having sex and being loved and having someone to talk to and laugh at my jokes and understand my mood swings and— I forgot how lonely one can be.
After many years searching through two’s and touching fingers that wrongly weaved mine and lips that felt like winter—all cold and slippery, I found something beyond a two. A divisor: one that separates into me without leaving a remainder. Evenly measured and flavored. An eruption of numbers and symbols. Not a reflection of me, rather a giant window, open and wide, displaying an array of weather forecasts and surprise sunsets.
With her, I am learning rather than settling. However, in order to unearth this divisor, I had to find completion in my one. One is defined as a single person or thing, taking the place of a group. To be able to feel comfort and safety with others, of course we must possess it within ourselves. I needed to be able to laugh at my own jokes and find myself interesting. I had to be able to enjoy a meal created and consumed by me. Most of all, I needed to find my sexiness, treat my skin to some respectful and deep admiration, and make my body feel loved by me. And when I did (and I must continue to do so, because there are days I forget), I found my divisor.