At one point the number of visitors last month reached 10,101. Which, minus the comma, is a palindrome.
My Aunt Sandra had a palindromic phone number when she lived in Paris. It was 5515155. Don't try calling her -- she's been dead for perhaps a decade -- but it's amazing I still remember it. If you're into numbers in a certain sort of a way, it's worth noting that her previous address was 151 Central Park West and the address of Rich and my old agency was 151 W. 19th St. And don't even ask me about my friends John and Julie.
Dee dee dee dee. Dee dee dee dee.
Sandra's great gift to me was inviting Geoff-the-boy to spend every summer of his young life in a huge, shingled house on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. You can see it here, now under new ownership ...
You can only see the top two floors of the house over the dunes. When I lived there, they didn't have that rounded dormer bulging out of the side of the third floor. Instead there was a cramped, dark bedroom at the end of a long, fairly-scary hall (if you'd been watching the wrong movie), with a chamfered ceiling and one small window on the side of the house you can't see from this angle. This was my default bedroom and fond memories swell up as I type.
My buddies Ken and Joe lived in the house just to the left. Their cousin Sarah (it makes me angry that I can't remember whether she spelled her name with an H or not) lived there too. She was the first girl I ever made out with. And I thank her for that. I'm sure it was her idea; I was perhaps too preoccupied with sailing my Sneakbox.
This is a Sneakbox on a trailer, in a garage, with no mast. They barely exist anymore, but when I was twelve, and sailing mine, it seemed like Manfred von Richtoffen's red, three-winged Fokker. Like Jimmy Clark's green Lotus 38. The one with the yellow stripe and the matching yellow exhaust manifold. It felt like Gabriel Garcia Marquez' typewriter. It felt like the absolute center of the universe.
Anyway, God what fun all that was. But at a certain point I got older, started taking summer jobs, then went to college, and that was the end of that. Just as this, old friends, is the end of my seeming endless obsession with the 10,000 person threshold.
It's time to move on. It's time to roll over, light a cigarette and stare at the ceiling. Spent. But happy.