I do spinning.

Yolanda’s cellphone starts ringing in the nick of time: it forces her to walk a few steps away from me to answer it, and I can regroup, try to better understand what she has just told me—because even a void can be dizzying. I do spinning. OK. A little while ago, while she was walking by with Nebbia during a fleeting winter appearance, I started to talk with her. I don’t know why, and I especially don’t know why this morning, but I felt the need to break the pattern. I stopped her and practically forced her to engage in conversation. A few words about the cold, a few about the sky that really did look like snow today, then about our dogs—and up to this point nothing new, they’re the same things we’ve always talked about; but then, for the first time, I went further and remarked on her change of habits: before, thirty-minute strolls through the park, now, instead, a single hasty walk just long enough for the dog to take care of its business. I didn’t ask her why (the reason is obvious: because it’s cold), but bringing it up was enough to prompt her observation that I had not changed, instead, that I’m still here, even without the dog; and at that point it was as if the distance between us and our unsatisfied curiosity, which had remained constant over the past few months, had been reduced to zero: we were finally authorized to ask each other what we had always wanted to know. She went first: why was I always here, every day, even without Dylan, even in bad weather? I didn’t want to delve into whether she already knew the answer, maybe through the neighborhood grapeline; it didn’t really matter. I told her the truth, but in two stages: in the first stage by telling her that the company where I work is in an uproar because of the merger and so I prefer to stay here, in front of my daughter’s school, waiting for the tensions to simmer down; and then, realizing it really was too little and especially that it didn’t explain all those hugs, I added that the habit of staying here rather than, let’s say, going home, or going to play tennis, or doing something else, I got into because of the fact that the little girl—and I pointed to the whole school, in a synecdoche that was not without significance—has lost her mother not long ago. Immediately after I observed her carefully and saw her imperious beauty soften into a smile that was sad, sympathetic, and yet, maybe precisely because of her beauty, still fairly enigmatic. It’s always so hard to imagine what beautiful women are thinking.