New York City, November 4, 2012

★★★★ Fine-looking, what there was of it. The early arrival of a bright morning did not make up for how quickly the brightness would pass. When did the clock change stop being a gift of rest and become a case of sedentary jet lag? (A: Fall of 1989.) Already, at what was nominally the back end of midday, the sun was lowering in earnest. Downtown-facing pedestrians stomped right into it, hurrying through the cold in blind straight lines, unable to account for the backlit figures coming the other way — who in turn could not quite grasp that these fully illuminated figures could be so unseeing. Vectors of resentment glanced off each other. A newly bought mitten was lost for half an hour, then recovered from the threshold of the elevator lobby. A tiny dog with thin, pale fur stood hunched and trembling at the end of its leash, despite its polyester-fleece dog vest.