★★★ The thaw was on in full, but it had a lot to do. Out in the mild morning, the corner of an eye caught sight of a taillight peeping out from a crack in what had seemed to be an ordinary snowbank. Various kinds of clouds tried to affect the sunlight one way or another, then yielded to others. Between snow dams at a crosswalk was a chunky ash-colored slush puddle. Then came a puddle of clear fresh meltwater, and then a clear puddle with ashy muck settled at the bottom. West End Avenue was still thickly coated in soft slush. The uncertain sky and the white snow and the grayer snow all resolved, at once, into a uniform twilight blue.