January 23rd, 2021

Traffic sucked. We were heading westbound on I-94 at exactly the wrong time of day. The afternoon rush hour was in full swing, and the vehicles slowed to a crawl as we were crossing over the Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee. About a mile west of the interchange, the freeway narrows to three lanes. This creates a chokepoint that stalls traffic every day. When we got there, I saw nothing but a sea of red brake lights.

I was taking the young woman to the hospital. She had a packed bag with her. She wasn’t necessarily looking forward to going there, but she was resigned to doing it. I wasn’t thrilled about driving her to the hospital but, like the young woman, I knew it had to be done.

We had just left a house full of anger and sorrow, and being in a traffic jam was actually a relief from that stress. When the cars had been moving along swiftly, we had not said much to each other. We had been focused on our own thoughts. The girl had been munching the last of her McDonald fries, and finishing off a can of Bubbl’r. I had been watching the cars racing past me or changing lanes without signaling. Then it all slowed down.

We had time to talk.

The young woman asked me, “Do you know the ‘Baron Trump’ story?”

“The what?”

“The ‘Baron Trump’ story. Some guy, a hundred years ago, wrote a story about Trump, and it’s totally accurate.”


“Yeah, I mean the first name is spelled differently, but a lot of the stuff is the same. It’s like this guy already knew Barron Trump.”


The young woman continued, “That story is just like my life.”

“How so?”

“Well, remember when I was little, and I thought that I was really a princess? It was like there was this fairy tale about me. Well, Barron Trump has a fairy tale about him. There’s got to be a story about me.”

“You think so?”

“Well, yeah. I mean people always come up to me and say, ‘Don’t I know you?’, or ‘I’ve seen you before somewhere’. People dream about me, and then they meet me. It’s like these other people already know my story.”

I thought for a moment, then said, “Everybody has a story. Maybe it’s written already, or maybe we are writing it now.”

She spoke of her baby boy, “Asher is in my story.”

“Yeah, he is. Did you know ‘Asher’ means ‘Ten’ in Arabic? I’m not sure about Hebrew. The word for ‘ten’ in Hebrew is like that, but not quite the same.”

(“Ten” in Hebrew is עשר, pronounced “Asir”. That is pretty close to “Asher”.)

The girl got interested. Asher’s name means ‘Ten’? Ten has always been my favorite number. You know Asher has a lot of ‘twos’ in his life. He was born at 2:00 PM on 12/02/2020. So, the number two is big. Asher is a Jewish name. What is ‘two’ in Hebrew?”

“I can’t remember. I know in Arabic the number ‘two’ is ‘ithnain’ (اثنان).”

(“Two” in Hebrew is שניים, pronounced “Shnime”)

She shook her head. “What does the number ten mean in Hebrew?”

“It’s just a number.”

“I mean, does it mean something else besides that?”

“I don’t know. I do know that there is a whole science of numbers (gematria) in Hebrew. The letters in that alphabet are also numbers. So, words have hidden meanings, and numbers can have hidden meanings.”

“I wonder what all the twos mean for Asher.”

“Maybe we can find out.”


Traffic started moving again. We were quiet for a while.

She told me, “We need to write my story.”

“We may have to change names to protect the guilty.”

By that time we were pulling up to the hospital entrance.

I told her as she pulled out her bag, “I’ll wait here until I know your admitted.”


“Good luck with everything.”


Then she said, “Do some research on Baron Trump for me.”

Then she walked away.

3 thoughts on “Numbers”

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