An Essay on Symbolism: “189”


Numbers are everywhere in obscure and apparent places.
My earliest life memories drift back to the number set, “one eighty-nine.”
Be mindful that, “One eighty-nine” is not an area code or a lock combination.
Moreover, it is closer to a symbol of often inner reflected thoughts, day-dreams, and forgotten thoughts that flash across my mental IMAX screen whenever the awareness of “One eighty-nine” happens.
“One eighty-nine” eternally implies an inside secret, an inside joke, or forbidden images and lost conversations related to the arbitrary experience of childhood.
Words frequently fail to communicate what “One eighty-nine” so clearly shares with
me in each new way, place, or location it is found.
My brother would have a dream about “One eighty-nine,” and then play the numbers straight AND box, before the eleven o’clock news came on.
My mother fostered kids at “One eighty-nine” and had a vegetable garden in the backyard.
I cherished dreams of playing shortstop for the Yankees at “One eighty-nine,” but then that window broke.
Moreover, the New York Yankees would not allow me to break “tradition” with three
numbers on my jersey, “One eighty-nine.”
My sister and I code switch transitioning in and out of a cryptic, symbolic language only a brother and sister would recognize (or close, close family), by merely saying “One eighty-nine.”
“Be seen and not heard” were the unwritten rules of “One eight-nine.”
One eighty-nine symbolizes those sensitive, introverted childhood moments.
The rare occasions “One eighty-nine” randomly triggers an inner emotion that sends me back in time to when I grew up on Prospect Street.

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