May 3, 2012
One of the NoMad District’s Most Colorful Characters Appears in Two Moons
By the time Madison Square appeared, like a great frozen plain, he could move with only a quarter the speed he’d had starting out. But Roscoe Conkling would make it across this last expanse and into The Hoffman House, whose outline, behind the great swirlings of white and gray, he thought he could perceive. Steady on, he thought, strug¬gling under the weight of his coat, wondering if he should rid himself of it, too. No, he would need it tomorrow morning, when all this would be a melting memory and he’d be setting off, at 8:00 sharp, for the courts.
Her. The mere pronoun was sufficient to call up one last lucid surge in him, enough anger and strength for him to roll back over on his stomach and push his arms down into the snow and, by God, get up, which he did, up and out of the drift, to stagger the rest of the way across the Square, the snow still coming at him, the Sun unimaginably distant and forever gone, farther away than the moons she’d tried to show him through the telescope that night.
Hoffman House. Where was the sign? After all this, did he have the wrong building?
“Where am I?” he shouted to the bellman, who’d come out to the snow-covered steps.
“The New York Club, sir.”
“Well, I want the Hoffman House!”
“Where have you come from, sir?”
“From Wall Street. On foot.”
“Good God!” cried the bellman, dragging in the form of Roscoe Conkling, which had just collapsed and was soon to breathe no more.
(Note: The Hoffman House was located at 26th and Broadway)