I never really cottoned up to numbers. Oh I used them. I learned to add and subtract and divide and that other thing, multiply. Letters were different. I got to like letters when they assembled themselves into words. This because the words could be strung together in sentences. Those early sentences made quite an impression because I still remember them. “See spot run” and the sentence that invariably followed, “Run spot run”. The back story revealed that spot was a dog. A dog with spots, thus his name. Didn’t know that when I first encountered spot. I was paying more attention to Jane. Oh, there was a guy, her friend, Dick. Their story unfolded over several books. The covers and interiors were of a graphic style popular back then, in the 1950’s. Non threatening pictures, watercolors. That’s as it should have been, the words were the stars, the letters and sentences had top billing. Boys and girls and even dogs were supporting actors – the goal was reading. We children, ducking and covering against Soviet bombers, as we learned that skill. If I had known enough to anticipate the the drone of Russian TU-95 Bears I’d have been distracted. They had counter rotating props you know. Tupolov’s design office did great work. But we didn’t get nuked and I did learned to read. In just a few years I was reading pulp science fiction. I must have read a few of P.K. Dick’s short stories, he wrote so many. Was he any relation to Jane’s buddy, also named Dick? Did the dog read? did he write? That would be something, I mean if all these years later….half a century plus, Dick and Jane unknown, un heralded but Spot using a suitable nom de plume, a celebrated author. Just as likely a famous mathematician. His fame secured by the famous “Spot’s conjecture” his postulate, still unproven, that what is unknowable is also unknown. Sounds more like a conundrum than a conjecture or a postulate. Spot on a blanket in a basket rests and dreams of numbers. I dream of procedure. In my dreams I move between offices getting stamps and signatures and filling out forms. It never ends, the procedure, the paperwork, the run around. I’d say it was in the mode of Kafka but I’m above dropping famous literary names. I lie. I’ve dropped two so far. Might as well make a trio of dropped names….Sholokhov. Why are there so many really good Russian writers? And Russian bombers from the 1950’s?