★★★★★ "Noo!" said the toddler, turning away from the apartment-building entrance. He had climbed out of his stroller up above 74th and come walking and jogging back down Broadway, darting ahead and circling back with quick, articulate steps. Every block or every minute was a new little adjustment—warm sun to bask in, a bracing gust, a dim spot of cloud shade while the nearby buildings stood in full light. His newly two-year-old legs veered through the crowd. All the vendors and table-operators were out at once: fruit, phone cases, DVDs, the Green Party. Straw hats and cotton prints still. Fairway had stone fruit and berries in the bins, but carving pumpkins below. Small herds of bicycles were riding along 72nd. After Amsterdam, in a deep gray moment, the toddler pulled up and asked for his hoodie. Now he was home but not finished. He headed around back, to the garden. The black decorative pool was wind-ruffled and spilling at its foot. He pulled a stray green leaf off the drain grate and plunged both hands in, to the wrists, wetting his cuffs. The water went flat, and then a new burst of wind chopped the surface into sparks. The leaves on the chest-high stalks were pale and withered, but some of the flowers on top were bright. The wind came pushing southward through the ornamental grasses, sending them bowing and seething before it, while in the same moment a countercurrent seized the empty stroller and sent it rolling straight north till it hit a wall. While he was examining the crash site, he found the box of ripe figs in the grocery bag and pulled them out. For this, a person would go upstairs.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013