mathematics of beauty

Days do not end, they bloat. They infect. They fall down and get all scraped up and bloodied and then a scab forms and it gets picked at by a different day and then a new scab forms and then and then a scar. Days are like scars. Persistent and showy.

Today may be the final day of this earth. But enough about that.

On subway train where students are high off the fumes of Winter Break, I overhear a lecture on beauty.

Enter the Professor. Assumed (since he sits down for this lecture) to be about 5’11. Young but eager bones. Brown, short cropped hair. Brown skin. Narrow mouth. His shoes are scuffed. He speaks:

“She’s eighty-five percent Puerto Rican and the rest is messy. I’d say she’s a 7.”


Enter the student. Not me, of course. I am the observer. The auditor of this class. I’m not receiving a grade, so I just kind of sit, out of view.

The student is much shorter, also sitting. 5’4, maybe? He has on a handsome necktie and his pants are too short. I notice his socks, off white but once white. His shoes are newly polished. He speaks:

7 is good, right?”

Professor: If you got a 70 on your test, would you think that was good?

Student: Depends on if it was a hard test.

Professor: A 7 is ugly. She’s too short. Like 4′ ll.

Student: What’s wrong with that?

Professor: I know lots of 8’s but I’m looking for 9’s. 10’s don’t exist unless you’re reading like Maxim or somethin’. Those girls aren’t real though.

Student: I’ll take a 6. They’re fine too. What about half numbers?


And I immediately hate myself for thinking this, but….I wonder what number I am. If there is a decimal point, can I be rounded up and what number would I give myself?


Well, I’m not too tall, so there goes the 10. My breasts are small (thankfully…though I wish they were smaller). That would drop my number down for others but bring it back up for me. My hair is red like a house fire. Numbers up once again. Oh, but there’s all those scars. Numbers down. I’m promiscuous sexually open! Numbers are fighting each other. They remain in place. I’m well-educated. Numbers back up. But I’m guarded and have major trust issues and there’s all that trauma and and numbers are plunging. I’m clean. I cook quite well and I have a healthy appetite. Numbers up for the former but the appetite does lead to expanding body. I’m ok with this, though others may not be. Numbers down. I don’t like jewelry or expensive things; I prefer cheesecake and books. Numbers up (though some may want me to lay off the sweets). I don’t have a six-pack and my legs are hairy and I prefer Woody Allen to Tarantino and I don’t chug beer and and. Numbers are in the negatives! I love giving blow jobs but not to biological penises. I’m fatty. I’m impulsive. I’m moody. I’m I’m I’m…

not a number.