BellaOnline Literary Review
Shades of Rock by Jill Florio

Non Fiction

Give Me Credit!

Sheila Sproule

ITíS RIDICULOUS! My own telephone number eludes me at the most inopportune moments. Family birthdays? Thank goodness my mother sends me a new calendar in December, with every family memberís birthday, anniversary and special occasion already added. Math? Utterly useless. No, really - Iíve been told. In fact, one of my worst memories is sitting in math class and my 80-year old teacher, (who also taught my mother, for goodness sake) saying to me:

ďMiss Twit (name changed to conceal identity), perhaps your time would be better spent at the bull-ring (a roundabout feature at the school entrance - not a pub, sadly) than in my class.Ē

I was a very self-conscious 15-year old and mortified at the attention, let alone the insult. After that, my fear of numbers grew exponentially.

Until recently. I am now the queen of digits. I can recall 23 numbers without the slightest hesitation. Continuing education, you ask? In a way, maybe Ė real world experience, certainly. My newly-found confidence in numbers is, in fact, thanks to the internet.

It is now not numbers that frighten me but how quickly I can recall, without reference, the 16-digits of my credit card, followed by the expiry date and the security code.

To be honest, when I first realised that these numbers were emblazoned on my brain, I didnít dare trust myself. After all Ė my time would be better spent at the side of the road, remember. I had this fear that if I recalled the number incorrectly, without actually looking at the card, I may get a digit wrong and a potential purchase would be lost. I would find myself on the cordless phone starting to deliver my number by rote, as I walked to fetch my wallet for confirmation.

Now, Iím cocky. I recite away or type away, knowing that I have it down pat. I donít brag about this talent to those who care about me or help to pay the bills. Iím not even sure that my cranky, old math teacher would deem it an improvement.

I can only hope that I am not alone in this new level of super-intelligence. Is there anybody out there? Should we start a support group?

If I could recall my telephone number Iíd give it to you.

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