THE APARTMENT AIR was stagnant and humid but the morning outside was cool and damp—the sky deeper than medium blue, the roads clear but for one easily bypassed clot of traffic on the FDR. Sunlight got into fire escapes and grates and vents and the girders of the Queensboro Bridge. Bay windows let the light through like vitrines. The East River lay flat with its ruffled spots showing as mere contrasting color on the flatness. After a round of eye-dilating drops, all out in the midday sun was white confusion. The day raced along while the drops lingered. By the time they wore off, the temperature made sweating unimaginable, though men chose not to wear shirts anyway. The suffering and agitation of the heat wave had lifted. Picnickers relaxed on the grass above the Pool; people read and wrote on the benches in tranquility. At sunset the western rims of eastern clouds were outlined in pink.