BIRDS WENT AHEAD and started singing in the heavy green storm light of morning. The balcony furniture was tied down and the plants were indoors, but the slide sandals overlooked out there stood where they’d been, undisturbed. A man went by outside in a full storm suit, with a black coat trimmed in yellow and leggings to match. The real drama had been the fairly quiet record-setting deluge just before bedtime. The rain paused briefly and then went back to pounding on the sheet metal of the balconies and gutters, the sound sliding almost into rhythm and then out again, like a faltering metronome. Drops left thick shining trails down the window glass and somehow thick shining trails too down the surface of the window screen. On and on the rain pattered, in the suspended animation of a day going nowhere. It continued, in its steady boring way, until the phones blared a warning that it had added up to an emergency again.