★ There was mist out the window, then fine rain on the glass. The air was soggy and stayed that way after the rain had stopped. Taxis were hard to hunt, and curbside puddles menaced the best hunting spots. The top of the Time Warner Center remained fogbound. The Park was a green fluffy mass, with the crawling traffic of the traverse threading through it. The atmosphere was somewhere between clammy and stifling. Afternoon grew brighter and the air grew less and less breathable, till the air conditioner took over inside and the sun retreated again outside. A dark rat scurried along the pale traces of evaporated water in the rail bed at Lafayette. Uptown, at 59th Street, the 1 train bed was still wet, a low-tide muck of cigarette butts.