★★ The morning air was not hot yet but already thick. Shirt backs and bare shoulders were smashed flat against the glass of the doors of the train moving through the station. Gray suddenly appeared and some rain fell on Columbus Circle, a sprinkle that did nothing but thicken up the air some more. Fragmentary showers would happen again and maybe again. Sometimes it was just blowing air-conditioner drip. One heavy spattering burst of water came down beside a scaffold and nobody could figure out why. At rush hour the pavement was wet or greasy-looking again, on the way to the closed-off subway station. The third attempted station, on the second attempted line, was open and operating, and the platform was hot enough to raise a sweat before the train finally arrived. Up on the surface again a man went by with flecks of sweat darkening his shirt and flecks of ice cream sticking to his beard. The day at least went away prettily, with red-orange light bouncing its way to the corner of the apartment building across the way, and purple blooming in the west.