• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
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One hundred and eight pairs of gloves. That was my goal.

I am fascinated with the number 108. 1+ 0 + 8 adds up to 9. 108 is the number of beads on a Buddhist rosary, and the number of times you say a Buddhist prayer. It’s a number sacred to the Hindus, as well. Although I forgot exactly why.

At Mt Koya, the supposed founding place of Buddhism in Japan, I’ve gone and stayed overnight in a temple, they give you some paper and you sit and write Buddhist teachings, or sutras, over and over You are supposed to get up to 108 times, but I guess it’s between you and your conscience The whole idea is to sit cross legged and write the same sentence or even the whole chapter over and over, until the words tire out your hand muscles and I guess the words enter your brain on a subconscious level. Writing as practice and writing as meditation. And you add to your good karmic energy.

When you are living in reduced circumstances, and minus 10 outside, and cold as hell And you’re too impatient to sit and write sutras and be virtuous, you might as well collect 108 pairs of colorful gloves. Afterall, how else are you going to indulge in your sense of color in a dreary flat and industrial landscape?

I had already gone through all the gardening websites, buying plain colored gloves and had begun dyeing them colors from dyelon kits with names such as denin blue, or pale rose, or forest green I had already tried out the dyes at half and quarter strengths, and those hung on the wall too.



I had also already bought the rubber gloves in yellow or in green or orange And now I was onto semi-stretch parade gloves. Those are the things that poor kids in marching bands have to wear while they try to beat out a beat on a drum, or belt out something on the trumpet on a Saturday before a big game night. I have put in an order for 12 pairs and was waiting for the fedex man to ring my doorbell any day now.

I then came across the term, opera length gloves on Ebay. I mean it’s not as though I was going to the opera, but if I was gong to cover the world of gloves in a crazy way, I might as well get a pair. These came in satin, or stretch cotton, and came in the color “pearl” I guess that made sense, opera gloves, fancy pearls, black hat, now that was an ensemble. I bought 2 pairs each.

Then I found a listing for a single grey gentleman’s opera length- for the left hand glove. I was surprised they even bothered. Who was going to buy a single opera length glove? Some weird Michael Jackson fan? But I hit the button, buy. It was now mine. 48 and a half.