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By series: Bridge St  In Yr Ear  Ruthless Grip


Otis is test driving his new trousers. The Balinese bassoonist, who appears
to speak no English, watches him quietly as he sucks on a peach. Nice people
come from nice homes, he thinks to himself, the thought hand-delivered in a
manila vortex. Is your refrigerator running? Otis lives below the paintings
and above the rug along your average friendly corridor, emanating from the
dot. Sy Zuckerdorf (of the discount Zuckerdorfs) pats his head, creating a
temporary halo effect. Otis spends his noon hour (in a life of noon hours)
controlling the weather, but always apologetically. His parents belong to the
Ages, but they insist they're not trying to distance themselves, as if Otis
cared. Sunlight peeps through gaping holes, as I read about Otis making
millions on the floor, or someplace like that. It's late. He curls up below
"The Cardplayers," the same guys who broke his clay pipe. Maybe there's room
for one more at that table. Perspective lines stream up Park Avenue, past the
Hornick's, and on to Van Cortlandt Park, where a broker munches on them
contentedly. This isn't the end of Otis, but it's a start