New York City, September 14, 2017

★ The bedclothes got thrown off in the night but the air itself pressed the body like a damp comforter. A curtain of morning sun briefly fell on the building across the way, illuminating a brown-and-white dog by a window. Then there was nothing but heavy gray over the heavy air. Lighter and darker periods went by but the thickness was steady and hopeless. Now and again, or here and there, a patch of sun broke through. The clouds were clumped into a moody loveliness on one side of the Flatiron building, but rounding the point to the other side brought open blue into view. At last, and very, very gradually, the atmosphere began to thin a little. By the time of the schoolyard picnic, the air had developed a clean edge to it. Two drops of rain fell while the children hollered and chased each other around. Overhead was a lone, veering dragonfly, and nothing more.