Forty-nine times around now I told my diviner yesterday, she’s an expert on death, I said I don’t know what it is just lately, I’m feeling pretty okay about dying, there’s this slowly dawning sudden way it just doesn’t freak me out. She said, don’t worry honey, you’ll get scared again: this thing you’re experiencing now, it’s called happiness. Oh, I said. And then I thought seven times seven: I think that’s true, I mean the light is coming back and there’s the sheer fact of Tom Ackerman in this world, so, yeah. I love 49 so much because it’s a perfect square of course and then so is each of its digits like what if you yourself were already a rockstar and then each of your two lungs was also independently a rockstar in its own right: four is two times two, it’s a laughing double date, it’s patty-cake, and then three times three that’s some kind of triangle within each facet of the trinity or some kind of triple folded cluster of galaxies, somebody smarter than me, but I think I can for real say that 49 is the only number in the whole universe each of whose digits is a distinct square and then, as if that weren’t enough, the collapsed sum of its digits is also a square, so maybe this is the year where everything stacks up just so, like the way activism and prayer are coming together these days but that’s not new, all the big names knew how to get real power on their side: there’s MLK kneeling in the middle of the bridge, here’s Gandhi quiet so quiet. Here we are meanwhile, water is life but everybody kind of terrified horrified so very tired from looking at that big pasty face with the monosyllabic name but I think we’ve had all the answers since 1997, have you seen The Fifth Element? There’s the pale evil billionaire guy with the plastic head and ultimate darkness encroaching and everything, and then there’s the perfect new badass girl did you see what happened when she watched the news too much, but I won’t spoil the ending anyway you know besides water fire air earth there is, of course, Love. What I really want to tell you is how forty-nine is–besides there’s cake in a minute with ice cream, caramel sauce and sprinkles–but how 49 is, maybe it’s like this: after forty days and forty nights in the desert, it’s nine days later, you’re basically all used to eating again, walking around doing stuff, and it’s no longer a complete acid trip just to ride the bus with everybody else, you know?