We turn off the satellite, an act that composes a silence that is really a prelude.
When ten o'clock comes, it is the beginning of the denouement.
All the day's questions, all the threads of the story, however they have tangled, come to this point, the ten o'clock unknotting, and the dog, though he is in repose, is ready: ready for me to get up, for J to pick up a shoe, for either of us to say, shall we?
He is an answerer of questions, the dog, and the answer is always yes, we shall take a walk.
Yes we shall go out at ten o'clock, and one of us shall be harnessed and the other two shall be tethered to the leash, and the moon will be high and the tree branches shall lash the darkness.
Yes we will find our way around the same streets, hear the same dark dogs growl from behind the fences, see the various cats darting behind the tires of cars parked in their driveways: then come home, sink into our last efforts, find the pages we have turned down, lie with the dog between us, and at midnight bring all to a close, turn out the lamp, arrange the pillow, court sleep with stillness, our fading conversation, heavy eyes.
The rope of the day unbraided. The strands even, the strands straight. The harness and tether put away.