★ ★ A dusty pinkish haze reached well up from the horizon. Light off windshields in New Jersey twinkled in the heat over the river. Clouds began piling up in that band of haze. The air took a little extra effort to breathe. "Lots of laughing, smiling, powerful," someone in a photography crew instructed a model who was perched on the bakery windowsill at a height where no one would ever sit. On the disrepaired roof deck, weeds waved from the planting boxes. A dove floated by. The blue sky seemed solid and secure, which it was not. Instead, the late afternoon darkened. A pattering rain fell. The shoulders of a man's suit and the hem of a woman's dress were darkened. A wet, sooty smell was on the air, and car tires hissed. In defiance of normal late-day cloudburst standards, the rain bore down, steadily intensifying, drenching everything. A spray of water from a passing vehicle hit the Broadway median like a full drink thrown in anger. Yet the party lasted even longer, till at last the western clouds turned into a fractured gleaming surface like a galvanized mop bucket, tipping open to slosh out the sunset in watery wine tones.
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014