9

1

5

3

8

Soon, the green-tinted glass doors of the = signs opened, and more began to trickle in. Large whole numbers, first petty tens, then pompous hundreds and eminent thousands, each trailed by an entourage of lesser digits dutifully following their decimal points. As the page became more crowded and the gathering more lively, my work as a host became ever more difficult.

For a time, civility prevailed. Fractions did unto their reciprocals as they would have their reciprocals do unto them. Compromises were made over the ebony bargaining table of the minus sign, and binomials dissolved amicably into their factors.

he gathering began as any other. I was awake and alert, calmly welding values into the frames of simple formulae. The first guests to arrive were, naturally, my inner circle of integers. The small odd numbers were causing trouble for their elder even sisters, while 10 and its multiples (0 included) looked on passively but watchfully, holding places for the more colourful and lively of their kin. Their family dynamic was so well known to me by now that I scarcely noticed them as I continued setting up equations to accommodate the other guests.

T

A Social Function

"Though I have always perceived numbers synaesthetically, there are some experiences that are exceptionally vivid. The following account describes the synaesthetic experience I had while performing statistical analysis for a scientific experiment about a year ago."