sea of smiles

by Dennis Scharnberg

He opened the slip of paper, to reveal a large rubber-stamped image in blue: the numeral seven followed by an exclamation point. Was it “7” factorial? (That is, 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1?) Was it an emphatic “seven!”? (A seven that really means it?) Or was it merely the conjunction of two arbitrary signs? There was no way to determine an answer. It was unknowable.

Timothy Waldo, The Important Things.