What’s your number?

A child arrived at my front door yesterday, he politely rang the bell and greeted me as “Mrs 28″. I’m guessing he was around seven years old. We had a quick chat about the whereabouts of the little travelers and what number house he lived in. He had a gorgeous grin and impeccable manners. Please try to imagine the look on my face when I asked what his name was and he answered……”Asshole”. As I stifled a giggle I asked again, the reply…. “Asshole”. I then tried to help him out a little “did you say Attol?” he shot me a confused look as he hopped on his bike and replied “no, it’s asshole”.
When the little travelers arrived back from the playground I learnt that my little innocents are well aware of what the word asshole means as they all giggled hysterically with the question “do you have a friend called Asshole?” Number 3 then said, “I think I know who you mean, I think he’s in 62”. The little travelers knew his house number but his name was still unclear.
There are roughly 120 houses in our compound. Picture four perfectly manicured streets of identical tuscan coloured boxes with a clubhouse, gymnasium, playground and swimming pool. In the morning there is a flurry of activity with office staff heading downtown, busses collecting workers to take to the dessert and children going off to school. During the day it is like any suburban picture, stay at home parents go about their day, gardeners mow lawns and neigbours chat on the footpath.
We are number 28. We are friends with 12, been to a party at 29 and couldn’t have survived without the mattress’ (and bottle of vodka) from 30. All of our conversations work around numbers, “have you met 5? she’s lovely, she has four children as well”. Our children do the same thing, they ask if they can go and play at 13’s, ride their bike with 68 or play at the playground with 62. I’m hoping that over time as we meet more people the number will disappear and be replaced by names. I can’t wait to meet asshole’s parents and find out theirs!

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