We pondered square roots as we walked out the door. In breezy twilight, to unaffordable dinner. 12 is the square root of 144, I said, a perfect number. My hand in my sport coat, fumbling for directions inside a torn pocket. I like 4 myself, you said, 2 times 2 and 2 plus 2 giving you the same thing. Simple, like living in the country, you said, extracting a compact from your purse.
If we sold everything tomorrow, I said, would you come with me, move to the country, live the simple life? Of course--you looking into your mirror--would there be wine? I started the car, said, plenty, we could even own a vineyard, stomp our own grapes.
The car chugged, worked itself to a purr, the engine whining, scraping. Really, you said, we could make our own wine? I nodded, looking straight ahead. Really, I was just guessing. Formulating futures starting at infinity instead of a shoestring--anything was possible.
Quick, what’s the square root of 3,940,225, you asked, tucking away your compact. Dumbfounded at such large numbers, I shrugged my shoulders. 1985, you said, a stellar vintage for wines. Of course it was, I thought. Looking at you--your mind full of numbers I can’t contemplate. We dream big dreams, multiples of our reality, sublime vintages yet to materialize.
As we turned left into the restaurant parking lot, the car stalled for a second in the opposing lane, a pair of bug-eyed headlights bearing down on us, then regained life in a chugging hum. My heart sinking, your face stone, eyes straight ahead.