★ The sky was a white-gray blank, seemingly depthless and inert, defeating the eye that tried to find something to focus on. Then a heavy, fine rain began, restoring distance and perspective. The playroom filled up with children as the rain soaked the terrace and dripped from the railings. A toddler drove off in the kiddie car the older children were using as a soccer goalpost. An older child grew angry and defiant. A warm damp wind blew the door open and held it open. New Jersey and uptown were all but gone; the mist closed in on the top of a not-particularly-tall apartment building. The trees, at least, were still darkly colorful.