His puffy red coat pressed close against my ratty corduroy jacket; I could almost believe I heard a sigh coming from his sleeves, as I crowded into the tiny space beside him. It was an early morning on the D train, running express over the bridge to Manhattan; I’d won the daily joust for a seat and was watching others spar for a clear space to stand, for room enough to check their phones as soon as the train went above ground because G-d forbid we miss anything even for a moment. I clutched my backpack on my lap and unzipped it, taking out a mint-green paperback, dog-eared and broken-spined.
The boy beside me glanced.
As the fireman said:
Don’t book a room over the fifth floor
in any hotel in New York.
They have ladders that will reach further
but no one will climb them.
New York is full…
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