New York City, January 3, 2018

★★★ When the blinds went up, a round moon was staring back through the windows. The sky, completely cloudless at first, gradually accumulated thin sheets of white, with undefined edges. It had been hard to find the sun behind the buildings before, but now it was scattered all over the southern half of the midday sky. Static plastered down hair. The old inextinguishable cough stirred fully back to life each time the lungs went out into the cold air. People took up too much room, stiff-limbed in their coats. The first-grade homework was to go out and look at the night sky, but the city had already announced there would be no school tomorrow, and there was nothing to see but blank clouds.