★ The roaring of the air conditioner all but drowned out the beeping or chiming of the phone alarm clock, and the dim gray light kept the brain from rousing enough to notice. The air outside was so soggy it was hard to believe it wasn’t hot. Uptown and downtown, the buildings were truncated by white fog. Then a heavier darkness came down, crushing the afternoon. Where there should have been the long bright summer evening, there was only renewed and grayer fog to speed and intensify the fall of night.