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Entry date: 7-7-2023 – Lucky Sevens? Ouch. (and the Bet) – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Double sevens day. What can we get with double sevens?

14. Sure.

49. Yes.

1. Mmhmmm.

0. Yep.

5. Uh huh.

4. If you take it a step further from 13, then affirmative.

I love numbers. Maybe a little too much. They do a lot if you let them.

I’ve been thinking that each day of the coming school year, I will have a number of the day and when students find it or figure out a way to arrive at it, I will give them a prize. These are the things I think about before going to sleep at night or when driving down the road or taking a shower.

I think of these things other times, too.


I turned 14 (7+7) in October of 1983. It was my freshman year of high school. I had made a couple of friends by then and was doing my best to embrace being a SkyHawk. I even got a gift from one of my new friends, Charles, and it was a small chess set. I’m guessing we must’ve played chess together at some point.

I don’t remember what I did to celebrate that birthday. My friend, Matt, may have come over or something. It’s a mystery to me, as I think back. On July 7 of 1983, exactly forty years ago, I probably looking forward to going to San Diego. I’m not sure if Dad and I went anywhere that summer.

I was probably doing a poor job of taking care of my dog, Napoleon. I think back to that guy and how much I wanted him, but I was not in a place to be a good dog owner. He was an Airedale Terrier and was quite lively. We got him from Matt’s parents when their dog, Cindy, had puppies. I loved Cindy a lot, too. She would often hang out with me when I went over for a sleepover.

I distinctly remember watching a lot of Cubs games that summer, too. We had cable TV and I was pretty stoked on getting to watch those games. The Cubs were a lot of fun in those days. A ton of big bats and no pitching. Lots of 12-11 games in the afternoons.

What was I listening to in those days? I was probably getting a pretty steady diet of MTV, so Wall of Voodoo was definitely my favorite at the time. I was also getting into U2, as well, a little bit. I had a cassette copy of the Decline of Western Civilization soundtrack and listened Fear’s “I Love Living In The City” a lot. In those days, that was my favorite from that record by far.

I still like that song.


7*7=49. I didn’t like that age very much. I wanted to get it done and get to fifty.



No response.

“Babe. It’s almost 7:30 and I can’t get Winny to wake up.”

Paul’s tone was beyond worried. He nudged Marcy again and this time she began to stir.

“I’m sorry to wake you, babe, but I can’t get Winny to wake up,” Paul said.

“What? I don’t….” Marcy shook her head to try and clear out the cobwebs before she finished her sentence… ”She won’t wake up?”

Marcy sat up in bed and watched Paul walk out of their bedroom door and head down the hall to Winny’s room. She gathered her thoughts and set off behind him.

“Win! Hey, Poo! Time to get up for school,” said Paul.

He was sitting on the edge of her bed, and he was definitely worried. Marcy came in the room and sat on the opposite side from Paul. As if in autopilot, she instinctively grabbed Winny’s wrist and checked her pulse while monitoring her daughter’s breathing.

“She’s fast asleep, Paul.”

“Should we pour some cold water on her?”

“No. Shut up. She’s fine. We were up late. She had a bad dream…. Win! Wake up, baby. Wake up. Rise and shine,” said Marcy.

“What was she dreaming about?”

“Oh, nothing really,” Marcy lied. “Just a scary man in her closet or something.”

Paul got up and went to the closet. When he opened the door, Marcy noticed a small piece of paper moving on the floor. Paul saw it, too. He bent down and picked it up.

“What the fuck is this?” he said.

“What is it, Paul?”

“It says, and I quote, ‘You bet I couldn’t fuck off, but I’m winning.’”

Marcy froze. She could not find any words.

“Does that mean something to you? I don’t think Billy or Winny wrote this. I don’t recognize the handwriting at all.”

Paul thrust the note towards Marcy.

“Is it Greg’s handwriting?” he asked.

Marcy still couldn’t find the words she was looking for as she took the note from Paul’s hand.

She looked at the note and managed to squeak out, “I – I – don’t know.”

What did he mean, she thought. She let the words tumble through her mind before she said them out loud.

“You bet I couldn’t fuck off, but I’m winning.”

Marcy knew she had to act fast, but she wasn’t coming up with anything to say or do. Paul was on the verge of freaking out, she knew it, and if Winny didn’t wake up soon, she was going to freak out, too.


See you tomorrow.

Last night.

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