I never thought I'd ever actually contemplate this but the Chivas Regal was smoother than the Black Label. Perhaps, and most likely, it was the company that made it seem that way rather than my being completely wrong about it all these years. At least that’s how I thought about it; they all taste the same anyway, after a while it’s like drinking muddy water. I'd dozed off, but the sudden, loud shriek of the fatigued teller's “Number 568” made me crave the taste of bourbon burning my throat, and maybe even my heart.

We’ve become numbers, we care more about some ridiculous digit rather than the person sitting next to us. We want a higher number that denotes a fleeting measure of intelligence by some arbitrarily designed system that promises a semblance of knowledge, all of which costs a certain amount of numbers. We crave a big number to show up at the end of our bank account even if it means destroying those around us with apathy. Here, in this alien vault, I waited until my number was called, for the time being, I was number 603, which really meant I was 63 short of the truth in this hell. Number 592 wasn't too bad: auburn hair above a set of gorgeous hazel eyes in a red summer dress. The panic in her eyes escalated with each second, fumbling for something in her immediate vicinity. I assume she was looking for her number, which was stuck just under the flap of her jacket, slightly out of her reach when she shoved her hand in her pocket and looked under the chair. I was slightly amused but I’m no sadist, I slowly reached over… “May I?” I asked, at first she tilted her head a little bit and gave me a sort of stern look, no doubt confusing me with the endless sea of bros and clowns-with-small-feet that must try to convince her to take off her clothes for their own benefit—another number most men live by. I didn't wait for an answer and slowly reached in with my hands and swiped the paper from the crease in her pocket with my index and middle finger: “Lose this?”

Her smile made me want to see it again, “Thank you! You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting,” her voice made me want to hear it always. 

“Anytime, how long’s your torture lasted so far?”

She chuckled, “About an hour and a half. How about you?”

24 years, “Longer than I’d like.”

She didn't let up her gaze, and I was impressed, “What number are you?”

Like I said, we’re all numbers: “603.”

She grimaced, “Ouch. You got long ways to go.”

“Well I anticipate the company will make time fly,” nice, I don't know where I came up with that one.

“592! Now serving number 592!” the wailing of the teller rung in our eardrums. 

Listen to an idiot tell you the weather and it feels like 10 years, talk to an angel for 45 minutes and it’ll feel like less than a second.

“That’s me! It was a pleasure to meet you… thanks for finding my number,” she extended her hand.

 “Oh no, the pleasure was all mine,” I slipped my hand under hers: it was warm, soft, and I kissed it. 

“Wow…” she fumbled in her bag for a second and wrote something on a piece of paper, “I look forward to some more conversation,” she handed me the slip with rosy cheeks and pearl white teeth.

And just like that, I had her number, 10 digits demonstrating in mathematical units what an angel looks like; I couldn't accept this. You aren't how many women you've slept with, you're not your bank balance, you're not your GPA, and if none of us are numbers… then angels can’t be numbers.

Woman Desired by Man.  1919. Max Pechstei

Woman Desired by Man. 1919. Max Pechstei