March 1, 2004
He shoved his fists deep into the pockets of his ratty jean jacket and exhaled another plume of mist into the freezing morning air. The sloping steps of Morning Side Park were slick with a nearly invisible rime of ice, ice that would last long into the day as the warmth of the sun was held at bay by the trees until the early afternoon. His eyes scanned each step with a practiced glance, finding a safe purchase for his shoes as he descended the hill in a stilted, dropping descent. The sunlight on the ice reflected pale and cold.