She drove west, deep into the afternoon. As the Arizona sun began to angle into the windshield, she lowered her sun visor. The tripometer turned 2,525. And the jukebox in her head clicked on. How did that old song go? In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive…Maybe she should have stopped in Winslow for the night, but she wasn’t tired. She wanted to keep going—maybe forever. She hoped the yellow dashed line down the middle of the blacktopped road ended in infinity. An idle thought entered her road-emptied mind: “How fast would I have to drive this car to stop?”
Should she throw it in reverse and rev it up to 1,040 mph to match the speed the earth is rotating on its axis? That way she could keep driving and never get anywhere. Or should she floor it to Kingdom Come, warp drive, 670,616, 629.38 mph—the speed of light—and literally stop time? It was a whimsy—and maybe she wasn’t much for calculations, but she knew this much: The little red pickup truck could barely go above eighty.
She hit the gas anyway, and the poor thing struggled for a moment before it surged forward, screeching off into a sloppy conundrum of physics. […]