When he became old enough to know that names were given by parents, in his case, by his mother, and realizing that she could have named him anything, he was not happy knowing that shechose to name him ‘Lucky’. His sister, Fortuna, couldn’t understand why he was so upset. “You don’t have a dog’s name,” he had told her.
His mother, Prima, had said it was because his father, Wrong, had been, well, just wrong. “When I was dating your father,” mother said, “my mama had said ‘that man is wrong for you’. I thought she was making a bad joke, but turned out she was right and he was wrong.”
The Number family lived in Manhattan, near the corner 5th Street and 3rd Avenue, but Wrong was always ending up at the corner of 3rd Street and Thompson (what would have been 5th Avenue had the numbering system stretched into Greenwich Village), wandering around looking for his apartment. Most of the people in that neighborhood came to know him and someone would eventually call Lucky to come and collect him.
Then somehow, while on his way to a cryptology conference in Munich, Wrong managed to get on a plane flying to Manila. A few weeks later, after no word at all, Lucky received a postcard from his father. The front of the card was of the Banaue rice terraces; the back read:
“I’m living in a small village with no addresses. I think I’ll stay awhile.”