NASA Headquarters, "Greatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN)," via Wikimedia Commons
I pull a handle, and there’s a loose mechanical racket from gap-toothed gears and sticky kicker paddles as I wait to see where the reels stop. Cherry, cherry, and... lemon—not a winner. That’s just money, though. I’ve got more important things to bet on, and I am feeling lucky, a bit of Saint John the Conqueroo tucked away in a pocket. Let’s spin the dial on a combination lock that has Class M stars marking n numbers; we are so close to unlocking infinity, when a bolt settles true in a notch on the disc-shaped galaxy within, I can feel it tick like a heartbeat. I’m ready to steal the sky. Those are the stakes, after all: not a gamble for nickels with odds set by the house, but picking a lock on treasure so vast it’s as large as the Milky Way, as large as love.