New York City, January 2, 2018

★★★ Like some Herculean labor or afterworld punishment, the work of bundling up took so long that the body was overheating before it could be finished. Dog urine had flowed into the sidewalk joints, then thickened to yellow slush and stopped there. A sheet of old, hardened show had begun unpeeling from the low wall where it was stuck, curling back on itself. By late morning, in the gentler microclimate of the West 60s, the shocking freeze subsided to an ordinary cold winter day. Downtown, though, it was still foolish to walk two blocks without gloves. The holiday and the frigid snap had knocked the office heating off balance, and the cold was pushing its way right through the exposed brick and the windows.