The digital clock reads 5:55 when we get into the van. 555. I used to believe these “angel numbers”, thought they were signs from the angels letting me know that they are near. I believed that they were giving me messages and directions through these numbers and I followed. Very faithfully.
I shout from the back of the car horrifying my mom and my sister.
“Don’t start again, please!”
They know my crazy past too well. They think my false belief in the phenomena of number sequences is all over. But just like any bad old habits, it’s still an ongoing fight for me. They don’t know that I am still secretly waiting for the foretold future one of those angel numbers revealed to me.
The bus #55 stops right in front of the apartment I live in. It runs frequently and I see it pretty much every time I go outside. The first time I saw that bus was a few years ago when I was obsessed with the number 5. I was seeing it everywhere. On the digital clock, license plates, etc. Once, it came to my attention that one of my very, very few guy friends’ phone number coincidently matched the shortcut number 55 on my cellphone contact list. At that time, I was so obsessed with the number 5 that I wondered if he was my destiny. Nothing happened between us and I got over it. I still had my fifty five to go back to, waiting for me back in Maryland.
The final destination of the bus #55 is Rockville. When I first saw the bus, I thought it meant that I was to live in Rockville one day, that Rockville was my final destination(here on earth) where God intended for me to be. A city built on a rock! I was living in Hawaii then and was visiting my sister in Maryland for a couple of months. To me, the message was pretty clear. Build your life on the rock(ville), not on the sand(beach). It all made sense to me. I prophesy my own future! I am my own prophet. Sounds dangerous? It is, as my past proves it.
We are heading back home, in the traffic jam. The lights from the commuting cars, and the street lights on both sides of the massive interstate, all remind me of my beloved city, Seoul. ‘How did I end up here? And where will I end up?’ I look out the window, I see the city covered in all sorts of different lights. And I see the moon up above the tall buildings, so bright and shiny.
“Explain why the moon does not shine.” Suddenly I am reflecting on the event from yesterday evening, when I was helping my nephew with his science homework. We just finished reading a short essay on the moon. “The moon does not shine because it is made of rock and dirt. The sun shines on the moon and that is why it shines.” was the answer I suggested my nephew, the first grader. He was so desperate to finish his homework, he begged me to provide him with an answer for him to write down. He was asking the wrong person. I like the idea of the moon shining whether it is an illusion or not, so I forced my logic of why the moon can still shine into his answer. I don’t care what the science says. The moon shines to me.
In a way, Seoul is like the moon. It doesn’t really shine. It only shines in my reflection. When it comes to Seoul, the sun is always favoring that city. The sun has its burning gaze fixed on the city and the city receives all the spot lights. I am perhaps too generous when it comes to Seoul. Probably too biased, and one-sided. It’s always reflected by the eternal sunlight, and it is so shiny. That’s how I want to remember it. So it really is just rock and dirt, but it still shines because, it does in my memory. I remember its light. It was always so hopeful.
Back to Rockville.
I know nothing about Rockville. Rockville does not shine.
But that’s not why I am not acting on my self-made prophecy. The bus #55 alone enlightened me enough to take a major action if I believed it. I don’t need to know anything about Rockville. I would be living in Rockville right now if I were still the person I was a few years back. But I am not that person. At least, I try not to be.
I know the bus #55 will easily take me to Rockville. Anytime I want, as many times as I want. But I don’t go.
I don’t go because I have no real reason to go there.
I go there when I want to go to a big bookstore and get lost for hours.
I go there after the morning prayer service at my sister’s church. We go to a cafe in the downtown and smell the fresh bread that makes us believe that we are in Paris somewhere.
I go there to take my sisters’ children to their pediatric doctor.
But I don’t go there to validate the questionable prophecy of my own future into full fruition.
I don’t do that anymore.
Maybe I will move to Rockville, or maybe I won’t.
Maybe I will move back to Seoul, Tennessee, or to Hawaii.
Maybe I will stay here.
‘Where will I end up?’
While I was reflecting on that open question, the car safely arrived home.
I ended up at my safe home to stay for the night.
When I was getting off the van, the display on the digital clock read 6:28. It said: It’s almost time for bed. Take a shower and go to bed.
So I did, and I ended up having a very good night of sleep.