★★★ Thin spots of blue showed through the clouds, seen straight up from the pillow. Again cool air had come in through the window in the night; so had a mosquito, perched on the bathroom mirror, where it left a red smear of fresh human blood when squashed. So had a pepper cloud of tiny insects, up at the top of the pane, so small and so numerous that they could be crushed and wiped up, en masse, in the same movement, repeated for four tissues' worth. The blue rifts closed over, and the sidewalks were dimly lit and mild. Some of the cars out driving had acquired raindrops somewhere, but the parked cars had not. A security guard stood watch over a puddle of spilled coffee outside the Time Warner building. There was no ice in the spill. The day had nothing pretty about it, but the walking was so easy as to go right past the subway entrance, and then the subway entrance after it. By Bryant Park, the air was maybe less fresh, or maybe the walk was starting to register. But the sidewalks were uncrowded, down the edge of Times Square and through the 30s, in the humid calm. A public-address system boomed in Madison Square Park. Against the soft gray background, the crisp perspectival anomalies of the Flatiron Building thrummed in space. Gradually the clouds grew more opaque. Below Union Square, a raindrop hit the base of a thumb, then another one hit the scalp. Droplets, seconds apart, punctuated the way up and over to Chelsea. Fifty, 60 blocks now. The rain quit. The walking went on.
Monday, August 19th, 2013