New York City, July 23, 2017

★★ On inspection, the ugly sky had a few brighter or bluer spots in it. The city was gray and the river incongruously white. The gray got grayer and rain fell, inadequate to the long buildup. Then the dry gloom resumed. Just outside the windows, with a sudden flash of rust and blue, a kestrel turned in midair over the avenue. The air outside was not hot but thick. Too many dragonflies to count were crossing the pathway toward Mineral Springs in the Park. There were stagnant little puddles in the grooves of the outcropping rock, and midges seethed overhead. People were dancing on rollerskates to a loud PA. New drops fell from the low clouds. The outcropping emptied and filled up with new people. Down below on the open grass, a little black dog with white forequarters chased a tennis ball so furiously it kept tipping over and skidding out sideways.