New York City, January 22, 2013

★★★★ Authoritative. Clouds clotted over the morning, then went away again, but the sky meant nothing. The sky would be radiant. The real message, the warning, was in the shower vapor, beading out onto the metal sill of the up-to-date, insulated bedroom windows. Out on the street, damp hair stiffened. It was 12 minutes till the next 1 train, the sign outside the turnstiles said — time enough, on another day, to go back upstairs and walk to the B/D, but now there was no chance of that. A young man on the opposite platform was wearing sweats, pacing and kicking, with his hands thrust to the bottom of the pockets. Down on Lafayette, on the sunny side of the street, a bare-shouldered model was assuming carefree poses for a camera crew. In real life, in the shadows, you could feel the cold sinking into the flesh of your nose. Cold stabbed straight through denim, prodding the hamstrings to move along faster. The dirty puddles in the gutter were hardened, dirty ice.