He died on the El and then walked across a rainy sky between tall buildings and over a puddled lawn to Navy Pier. He spent the next week or so – who knows how long it really is when the days feel like moth wings catching in the throat? – in the Egypt room in the basement of the Field Museum. Finally, he settled in to wait on the steps of the Art Institute because he couldn’t bring himself to walk inside and see the rosy-cheeked Renoirs. It was in that time – spring, actually, though it hardly mattered – that he noticed the young woman with skin like polished nutmeg wood. He sat beside the stone lion, a shadow in a shadow. On cloudy days he disappeared even unto himself. She moved right through him. The birds saw but did not flinch or even alter the phrasing of their morningsongs.
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