A BICYCLIST RODE down the avenue over wet morning pavement. The clouds were forecast to linger through the day, but by breakfast they were breaking up and the whole west was clear. The evidence of the eyes was no sturdier than the prediction, though, and after lunch the clouds were back and the radar showed something oozing sideways toward land from the Atlantic. Nothing would be settled. Isolated drops fell on the walk to the subway on the way to the outdoor playdate; blue patches of daylight shone on the third rail; at the destination, fatter and more frequent drops were coming down even as the shape of the sun kept showing overhead and the shadows re-formed. An elderly couple walked toward Central Park with umbrellas up and sunglasses on, then lowered the umbrellas as they neared the gate. The sun meeting the dampness raised an extra sour reek from the horse dung. Rain and clouds kept fading in and out, not always in sync with each other, with chilly gusts swelling and sustaining themselves before dying away. Children ran through the playground sprinklers regardless. The blob on the radar kept seething offshore, fading into little bloblets over land. Not until evening did the real rain come back, hard enough to slosh under a taxi’s tires outside. In the dark another bicycle passed, drops flashing in the blue-white beam of its headlight.