New York City, August 3, 2017

★★★ During the long, sweltering crawl through the faltering subway system, the gloomy clouds had relaxed to let some heating sun come through. The light wasn’t bright enough to shake off the unease that a storm might still come up from somewhere. The shirt collar held the memory of the sweat from the commute, and the afternoon sun squeezed down on it. The train platforms had if anything become even more infernal. The clouds to the north after dinner were innocuous but a glance back to the south and west found things roiled and darkening. It seemed too risky, as the gloom moved in, to take the time to drop the groceries at home before stopping by the ice cream truck. Wet dots appeared on the pavement. A man in a pale gray pinstriped suit vest and pants, his bared shirtsleeves rolled up, held a long umbrella but kept it furled for the moment.