New York City, August 6, 2017

★★★★ Incoming cool air and night noises had jangled up sleep in an easeful way. Dead roaches lay on the pavement. There was enough of a cloud layer to hold off the warmth of the sun. The wind was a November wind, the ten-year-old said, exaggerating but getting the feel of it. Changing into jeans seemed as plausible—that is, as not-quite-plausible—as changing into the waiting pair of shorts. Columbus Avenue was clogged with brunch tables and people strolling. In the Park, the burgeoning humidity offset the filter on the sunshine. Children designated two sunbathers on the Sheep Meadow as the pylons on the end zone of their football game. Gangs of youths in matching bright-colored t-shirts were going here or there in the Park or its environs. The leaves of the trees on Columbus Circle were dulled and drooping a little under their own weight. A pigeon of the most orthodox pigeon-plumage waded in a dirty puddle lined with dead leaves. By late afternoon, the five-year-old urgently needed to brought out to the playground to burn off energy. The cloud layer had solidified, with an under-layer of darker bits. The swing set rocked a little with the force of the children attacking it. The inland edge of the clouds let the sun through to spill across the dinner table, and then low overhead loomed a whorled and dinted surface of shining metallic pinks.