In the beginning one met two. Two was related to three somehow. And eventually three became related to blue and green, oh and Bell. It was complicated I suppose.
One was very happy. He was born in the city. He admired politicians.
Two was also happy. She was born in the country. She did not know any politicians but she liked the idea of them and whenever she imagined one they were wearing a clean gray suit.
One met two at college. They fell in love.
“Hello, my name is one,” he said.
“And my name is two,” she responded.
“Hahaha, one and two, how quaint!”
“How quaint, hahaha.”
They decided one day that they liked each other and one said “I like you” and the other said “I like you too!”. So they decided to go buy a baby at the store.
They went into the store. The store was gray and made of brick. The man inside had a mustache. He looked foreign.
They looked at all the babies. There were white babies, brown babies, smart babies and dumb babies, big babies and small babies, and the babies were organized by who had a higher likelihood of being gay or tall or schizophrenic. That’s how their prices were determined.
One and two looked at the most beautiful baby they could find. “Oh yeah, that there’s a great baby,” the foreign man said. “Top of the line. Just look at him, eight pound six ounce, strong features, great brain. I dare say this is the best looking baby in the entire building.”
“You know who he looks like?” the foreign man asked. He paused then. “Baby Jesus Christ.”
One and two nodded because he did bare a striking resemblance to the Christian deity.
“We’ll take him!” said one.
They brought him to the counter and prepared to purchase him.
“That’ll be thirteen dollars and seventy-four cents. Hah, I remember when you could get a baby for a couple of dimes. What modern times we live in, hah, what modern times.”
They took the baby home. The baby was smooth and colorful and round and was shaped like a football.
They named it three because it was one and two put together. Many envied their baby and envied his beautiful round face.
Someone asked them “Where did you get that baby? He is smooth and colorful and round and was shaped like a football.”
“We bought him,” they would respond. “From the finest store around,” they would respond.
People were confused. “What does it mean?” they asked themselves.
“How can you buy a baby at a store?” they asked themselves.
Three was born. First he was a boy and then he was a man.
Three met a girl named Bell. Bell he thought, the name Bell is not a number. It sounds nothing like one, two, or three. How strange, he thought. They talked to each other.
“What is your name?” Three asked.
“Bell,” she replied.
“Bell, that’s a strange name.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Bell. The word is of germanic origin.”
“I believe so.”
“Strong synonyms: Alarm, chime. Weak synonyms: Buzz, siren. It rhymes with ‘swell’, does it not?”
“Yes, that too.”
“Shell also. Well even. Also cell and yell. Extraordinary. Bell, I see a lot of potential for your name.”
“I feel much the same way,” she said.
They went on a date and got to know each other.
“Tell me about your parents,” said three.
“My parents are strange. My mother is a streetlamp,” said Bell. “And my father is a smoke detector.”
Three thought Bell was interesting and so he introduced her to his friends four, five, and six.
“Are you interested politics, err I mean, are you political?”
“Yes, in all the wrong ways.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, you know I’m the guy who writes angry letters to senators. I debate with everyone and make signs to protest whatever is being protested. I hate both parties I think but to be honest I don’t have any real opinions. I’m too trusting and good natured for any real opinions. I just listen to whatever the last person who talked to me said.”
“That’s just like me.”
“Yes, I have no real positions I just hold a malicious and brooding hate for groups and systems from which I feel excluded.”
And with that they knew it must be love.
Soon Bell and three were married because they loved each other. And so because they were married and loved each other they received a baby in the mail. It came in a beautiful paper package with a stamp that said US Government on it.
“It’s a baby! It’s a baby from the United States government,” said Bell.
“The president must have heard our prayers,” said three.
They loved the child and they named him Green like the color green. They named him this because they both happened to enjoy the color green.
Three and Bell started to see each other less and less. Three was having existential flairs and Bell was having an affair.
Three was always saying funny things. They had short conversations now.
“I wonder sometimes,” Three said. “What is the meaning of life?”
“I love you.”
“Also who pushes the kleenex up?”
Three came home one day. “I know you’re having an affair with him, I read all about it in the newspapers and the billboards.”
“Fine, I admit it,” said Bell. “I’ve been having the affair with Thirteen.”
At least she is having an affair with a man named Thirteen. At least she is not having an affair with a bullfighter or chemist.
“You see I only date prime numbers. You were fine at first. At first I say but ‘three?’ Three is such a low prime number. It’s much lower than Thirteen who is a high prime number. I’m sorry if you’re mad I just don’t know what it is you expect from me.”
Bell slept in the guest room that night and dreamed of prime numbers. She counted them, growing ever more aroused as the numbers got higher. She started simple: 5,7,11,13... - and then slowly got more complex: 53, 59, 61...Higher and higher: 419, 421, 431...Before finally stopping at her favorite prime number of all 2,137. How strong 2137 must be...how strong he must have been to have no positive divisors other than one and himself.
She loved prime numbers, and who could blame her?
One day Bell left Three for good and left him only with this letter which he received several days after her departure. Three smiled because it said United States Government on it and the United States Government always reminded him of his child. He opened the letter and read it. It said:
I have some bad news for you I presume. I have left the house and filed for a divorce. I’ve sent our child to Norway and I’ve seen to it that everyone there will call him Ludvig. To be frank I’ve been quite sick of all your fruitless panderings you scurvy half-wit.
In case you were at all interested I will be scuba diving in Australia with an astoundingly handsome man named Eighty-Three.
All the best,
Three never saw Bell again except for one time seven years later when they were both in Paris and they ran into each other and they said things like this.
“I don’t really want to talk to you.”
“I wouldn’t like to talk with you either.”
“It’s nothing personal.”
“It’s just we have nothing to talk about.”
“Yes, that is true. We do have nothing to talk about.”
Three was alone now and he was more alone because his parents whose names are One and Two had died and the only person he could talk to about it was the funeral director. The funeral director was Indian and made a lot of money off of other people’s deaths but he didn’t understand it.
“I’ve never had a parent or close one die but I know exactly what you’re going through,” said the funeral director.
“Thanks,” three said.
“You see I had a dog once and he got hit by a car.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Then he died and now he’s dead.”
“It is sad, I wish he was still alive.”
“Yes, so do I.”
“But you must remember that everyone will die eventually.”
“Yes, I always remember that.”
“Live forever or die forever there’s no way around it.”
Three was in a hallway in his building. He was feeling lonely. I wish the United States government had not sent me that baby Green and I wish Bell would not have left me for a higher prime number. My life is very sad he thought. Then he said:
“I am thirsty and hungry now,” said Three out loud because he was at that moment hungry and a little thirsty too.
“Good that you are just now hungry and thirsty for I have just bought two sandwiches and have waiting two bottles of water,” said a tall female stranger who had swarthy skin.
“Oh, very nice. We can go eat them together,” said Three.
“And perhaps we’ll fall in love quickly,” said the stranger.
“Yes and have children and tell them of the strange way we met,” said Three.
“And grow old and laugh loudly,” said the stranger.
“Ha ha,” said Three.
“Ha ha,” said the stranger.
They went by an ocean and Three told the stranger about Bell and about his baby named Green and how they had gotten Green from the US government and that Green ended up in Norway with the name Ludvig. The stranger told Three about how she had gotten a baby from the Canadian government and had named it Elvis Presley and how the baby had grown up and how sad it was that babies grow up. And so they sat, quiet and calm by the ocean, and talked about trees and exhaust manifolds and buying babies at white stores.