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The Postscript: Enough steps

Anxiety likes numbers.

I only recently realized that a lot of my anxiety fixates on meaningless numbers. I like to know how many there are of a particular thing and then attach meanings — usually sinister, sometimes hopeful, always unreasonable — to these numbers.

How many words are in this column? Six hundred exactly. Why are there 600 words? Because I once read that 600 words was a good length for a column, I have always written exactly 600. Never more. Never less. But if my wonderful editor suggests I let an extra word in or suggests a hyphen that makes two words become one, does this bothe...


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