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things were looking up. i’d scored a rent-stabilized flat on greenpoint avenue, a fifteen-dollar-an-hour job fighting city hall, and a girl who was empirically out of my league. my friends were all moving to town, from maine and massachusettes and los angeles and poughkeepsie. one by one, they wound their way into my sleepy little neighborhood; two by two, they settled into its subtle rhythms.

[ ch-ch-changes, below the fold. ]