Gloria Maryann and I packed everything we needed even as the sooty detrital and oily frozen slush on the garage floor would mess up the possibility of a warm and dry ramp to the X-way.
"Let's leave the radio off," she said.
I turned it off after catching the initial refrain of Steely Dan's greatest hit.
"Well if you want to," I replied looking over my shoulder, my glove in my mouth, leaning backward idling toward the cul de sac. Gloria Maryann seemed larger than life bundled and round. She locked the doors.
Next time we'll pay up for heated seats I thought.
We'd remembered I didn't close the garage door and made a stupid illegal U turn at the first intersection. Actually no one that I saw saw what I did, except Gloria Maryann. "We shouldnota left Dog."
"I've been meaning to tell you..."
"Watch what you're doing. It's slipperier than a snail on a mirror out here."
"Sure. It sleeted. Not sure if you'd say blustery or--or galeish."
"That's not a word."
Our Honda Ridge started to warm up. Stomping, cold, I used her key to go back into the house and compulsively rechecked my mental check off list, wondering if I could convince Gloria Maryann to pick up Dog. I could not stand his circular pleading behind that mesh. That sturdy BARK BARK and his sad cascara. I shone the penlight on the thermostat, assuring '62'. Touching the backdoor lock, re-closing the drapes. I used a paper towel on the splash marks and droplets, those miniature puddles like islands on a slate sea, walking backward out the door. The burglar lights were still on. I reset the alarm.
"This is not a good day. Did you check the stove?"
Gloria Maryann snap-pushed the radio button.
I nodded. She'd her mittens off, lighting a narrow cigarette. Her eyes as moist as the condensation behind her furry hood. I cracked my window.
"You know, if you set up all the fastest computers on earth, NASA, China, Leningrad, Israel, New Delhi, you know Seoul Tehran--all the big guns, and you set them on zero, to say zero and ran them, if you ran all them with the replication of zero..."
"...and then after a hundred years you added one at the front of the string..."
"How could you find the front of the string."
"Let me finish!"
"You'd have a year old number to name."
"You'd have a nebulous beginning of a ..."
"A definition of--
"...a point of departure. A drop of water. A grain of sand beginning to begin to define infinity...
"With an unknown multiplier."