New York City, December 5, 2017

★★ The dampness and darkness were stupefying. The rain in the forecast was like an upcoming unpleasant obligation, heavy in the clouds. In the mild air, a man in a grimy New York Jets knit hat threw his hands out, palms skyward, and cried out that it was good to be alive. The warmth in the winter light made no sense; the people wearing high boots with bare legs seemed to have made a practical decision about how to deal with the broken season. The clouds over the early afternoon had begun churning dramatically and some raindrops came out of them. The arrival time of the real rain bounced around in the forecast app. The text said it was 45 minutes off even as the radar showed a sharp green line already tangent to the city. On the way up out of the subway the rain was falling, tolerably. At bedtime, eyes that had just been looking at Christmas presents online found a mosquito perched on the bathroom mirror.