We passed the winter in novacaine of cold. All of us cleaned the Thrift Shop at night. It was a roof and walls against cold wind and snow. We collected sweaters and coats in a neat pile for a smiling old lady with braided grey hair who nodded benefic bestowal - and moved through the door into weak sunlight and city busyness. Sandwiches clutched in hand we gravitated through stone, steel, and concrete to our park nest. Like squirrels nibbling at stashed sustenance we savored our moment and each other. At night I felt a new warmth emanating from Rick's body near me and decided we all had an inner portable wealth without name.(6)
Spring met long resistance. Front after front of implacable cold marched across the land and fell in shredded flakes on the city. The park was white and icy two weeks past equinox. We were stored in our bones - marble pillars holding together wndwracked walls of flesh. Endurance became confirmed in us. It seemed we were camped stoics - the white trees of the park grecian pillars from long ago. The Thrift Shop was a cold but dry refuge at night. Cleaning kept blood flowing in small embers of red fire. There was no Spring. Summer arrived suddenly after one fierce thunderstorm broke winter's hammerlock and thawed us so swiftly we almost regretted the loss of anesthetic cold and the protective numb frozen armor of the stoic we'd worn.(7)
Why are the cops around Warren ?! I can't believe this ! ..."just a warning this time...against the law...swimming in the fountain..." Warren grinned and strolled over to me. His movement clearly conveyed innocence and obedience. The horses walked on slowly down the park path - crowned by dark uniforms and something that flashed sunlight when it moved. Rick was just waking up, and came toward us with questions on his face. " I wasn't swimming." - Warren said - "I was bathing." We laughed at such misunderstanding and migrated slowly into the day.(8)
Rick silhouetted against blinking neon had the appearance of a time-warped warrior from the future caught in laser crossfire. It was so unreal. We had become stumbling druggy stupor roaming desert canyons of the city in suffocating heat. Others melted on nearby low steps- running down the stairs and onto the sidewalk like sticky candy. At night so many in a fever of thirst for one thing or another it was no longer safe in the park. Our leafy hideout had been confiscated by two fierce-tempered bearded refugees of an uncertain time whose only song was survival by force and jungle growling. The city had no cool quiet coves.