"Look at the smoke, Charlie!", my mother exclaimed. "It must be a fire", she added with unbreakable authority. It still amazed me how my mother spoke to me as if I was still a four-year old when we were out and about. She'd point out this and that, all the while exhibiting a level of glee that I assumed was absent when she walked alone. Not that I'd trust her to go out alone these days. When we were at home, seated around the dinner table, she and I could have some decent conversations. She's even talk about Daddy, although I didn't like to bring it up too much as it made her sad. The accident had killed him and nearly killed me and after such chats I usually had to peel her off me, or she'd hug me for the remainder of the day. It was indeed a fire, the smoke pluming above the buildings away to our left, maybe four blocks away. We said we'd look down 34th Street when we got to the corner to see what was there. She said "when", but I was thinking "if", at the pace we were going. God, she walked so slowly! She wasn't even that old, for Gods sake! When we did reach the corner, the view was even more obscured, so it was a bit disappointing. The fact that somebody's property or life was in danger of being destroyed never occurred to us. It never does. We turned the corner, heading the opposite direction, for home. "I love these walks with you, Charlie, it's like the world goes into slow-motion and we get to see it go by" She intoned. Despite my quibble about her slow pace, I had to agree. We were looking out at the world and it was looking right back. Right now, it was looking right back in the form of a large uniformed police officer, who stood twenty or so yards away squarely in the middle of the footpath, with a 'none shall pass' expression on his face. As we passed the parked vans and trucks outside the hardware store it became clear that the cops were stopping traffic from passing down the street as well, with a makeshift roadblock comprised to two squad cars parked across the road.