before I turn 20

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The irony isn’t lost on me that I’d written the second piece on the 19th day of March.

19.

A prime number with little room for flexibility. The only way to multiply and get 19 is to do nothing. In the world of arithmetic, multiplying by 1 does nothing.

Tragic, right?

But if you break 19 apart into 1 and 9, the possibilities are endless increase in number.

1 + 9 = 10

9 is a perfect square, so you could break it down into little 3s.

Or, you could build it up into a big 81, and 8 + 1 = 9, plus the 1 you had leftover, that’s 10 again!

Satisfying, right?

It all depends on how you look at it.

I’ve had to look long and hard at my 19.

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