Laura got out two stops early. Woozy from wine, exhausted by the muckraking, she was determined to shake off the heartaching airlessness of the subway cars before she got home. She hadn’t been fully aware of the passage of time, less so of the rain. Leaves were strewn all across the sidewalk and the gutters were noisy with runoff. She took a fickle breath, wrapped her coat around her and headed down the wide avenue, circumventing the intense emotion of the train station. By the duplicitous park, kids were out riding on their skateboards, sluicing up the metal dragon like liquid despair and then crashing down again in spectacularly failed jumps. She marched past them and their gullibility to stand and examine the cheating horizon. Dark storm clouds still hung heavy and low in the unjust sky, while the towers guarding the park had just been lit. Between the evil grey of their concrete summits and the painful skyline, a strip of neon blue rimmed the curve of the earth, as if announcing the apocalypse or judgment day. Laura stopped cold just past the dragon and tried to take it all in, the sky, the wet ground, the light, the dark clouds. Suddenly she realized what was missing. There were no seagulls screeching from the towers or bobbing in the pond, no pigeons strutting across the tarmac, flying over the ramp to the park, pecking at old gum. She thought if she could stand absolutely still, unhear the vile scraping of the boards, the excrutiating wheels, the hackneyed shouts, and see nothing but the fading light, then a change, like destiny, might be possible. She held her breath and tried to heal.