When I was a schoolboy and was given my own room, I established the Republic of Rumia with myself as sole inhabitant and Supreme Dictator General For Life. Rumia was where my imagination was fertilised, where my toy animals became a reserve forest, where my cars had a highway built for them, and where I was king, rebel, police, pirate...anything I wanted to be. Rumia disappeared when we moved away to a smaller house. It is for me the natural name for my blog.
What an interesting number—ninety-nine! One short of the most magical number ever, one more than the most nondescript of numbers. Ninety-nine, the number that judges everything, from the sincerity of a lover to the contamination in a bar of iron. Ninety-nine, a hungry number, besmirched by an accusation of incompleteness, yet perfect in form—its twin members so beautifully illustrating its two divisors. The first one less, the second one more than that other fabulous number, ten. Ten, which multiplied by itself yields that magic figure all men yearn for. Perfect and yet always incomplete. Ever hungry, ninety-nine.
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in one drop
(Published in Frogpond 37.1 (2014)
Republished in South Asian Ensemble 2014)