It starts with me. Then it is everyone in the building. We soon become aware that this is more widespread, affecting at least part of the city. Public transit is down. I’m forced to walk home as are so many others. The sidewalks are streaming with disconcerted pedestrians. The streets are clogged with slow moving traffic. It being a very hot August day, many cars have their windows down, enabling me to catch snippets of radio reports. This mysterious cloud has mushroomed, encompassing fifty-five million people.
Jeanette is living on Lawton Boulevard with her husband and young daughter. Jeanette feels simultaneously locked in and locked out. I tell her the password is “piet.” I’m thinking of Mondrian. She thinks I’m making fun of her piety.
Sandra invites me to join the ski club. We meet on Merton to take the bus to Blue Mountain. I end up dating her sister until she asks “How will we ever afford to buy a house?” I never see her again. I hear that she has died.