My old friends show me baby pictures and wedding pictures on their cellphones. Many are quitting Vindigo and birthing new lives. Google and Condé Nast scoop them up, and are lucky to get them.

James has to jet. “The baby,” I say sympathetically, but no; his wife is delayed at work, and so he’s going to take over her personal training session. He’s sweet when he’s sheepish.

I cross the bar to talk to David and Jason. They’ve resumed the jokey, syncopated rhythms of a friendship that became business for a while, and they’ve started running together again; on Riverside Drive, not in Central Park, now that they’re both downtowners. They’re discussing their personal trainers. David is trying some new stretching thing. Jason says his trainer never even talks about stretching. David says that in that case, his trainer is a jackass. Jason begs to differ.

I give them shit about personal trainers. I’m only half teasing, even though my Thoreau streak has never played well in Manhattan, and especially not with these two logic addicts. But when we outsource the movement of our own carcasses, what’s left of our lives?

Candy comes over to say goodnight. She blinks and shakes her head, and says how weird it is to see us all together again.

Outside, on Eighth Avenue, the rain sluices down. In a green and democratic city, rain falls almost equally on rich and poor, and after a week of filthy weather everyone is sick of it. New York is not at its best.

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