It was one of those special days... the kind you get late in summer or early in fall, when the weather says - I ain't gonna make 'em sweat too much for a change....... The sky glows with a cerulean radiance. All is fresh and clean. A plump, little baby popped out right in the middle of a Center City tapas bar. I think it had a mother wrapped around it first. You know what I mean. It didn't come from nowhere. They shot exteriors for some new cop show on Arch street. The star was 'givin' it to' one a the brand new P.I.'s . She made sure he got some a the extra special pizza. But that's a whole other story. They're gonna get married, but it won't last. At least she'll get a development deal at IMAGINE out of it...... It's all who you know. And just off Broad Street some mental guy was tryin' a clip off his eyelashes with an old pair a cuticle scissors in front of a polished, metal mirror in the sticky men's room of a no-name burger joint, when a disgruntled, grease-splattered pattie flipper storms in, BANGS the door against the wall and makes him stab his eye out. He laid on the floor trembling for twenty minutes.
That was the day. That was it.
And a few hours later, when the light dripped away, the nebulous evil came back. It did not condense in the same place. Actually, I don't know where it happened. But a nice lady holding a sleeping two year old slipped right off the subway platform. No one could save them from the speeding train. Rush hour traffic got held up for almost ninety minutes.
It's not that you could actually see the cloud, but if you passed through it you'd know. All of a sudden you felt sad. Couldn't put your finger on it...and that made it worse. I suppose experts would call it an anxiety attack. Look, they gotta call it something.
Baylah was back in town. She'd been here for a few days already. Contractors were doin' something to her boyfriends house down the shore. You know how they do those places up in the fall. Gotta keep that HGTV gloss goin'.
She liked the fall. Liked her cozy, little piano bar. Liked her nest upstairs. Liked the regulars. One or two might a known she was a life-eater (politically correct term for 'vampire') , but that was all right, 'cause they got a pretty sophisticated crowd. Singer was crooning through the Rufus Wainwright songbook. He's an extra special favorite in Philadelphia. Mellow, poignant, story songs, just right for a chill, autumn night.
But things changed real fast when Miss Lipskey, a well polished woman of a certain age, with a pre-War condo to die for, actually did. Just went 'guhk' face down in a hot bowl a gourmet chili. Didn't look all polished no more after they sat her up though. Found her partial bridge under the piano. Guess somebody kicked it. Still, her nephew was glad to get it back.
Was it the 'cloud'? .... What do you think?
Annie was fixin' herself up to go runnin' the streets. Started humin' 'rain, rain, go away. come again some other day'..... 'Cept it wasn't rainin'.
Sarah, still all God-juiced from last night's service, didn't want her to do it. But you have to be careful how you approach Annie about these things, 'cause she can be crazy.
And tonight, somethin' was makin' her brain itch real bad......
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