Winter 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2009 |

All the Time in the World

What I've noticed: how fast they put up these buildings. Cart away the rubble, square off the excavation, lay in the steel, and up she goes. Concrete floor slabs and, at night, work lamps hanging like stars. After a flag tops things off as if they were all sailing somewhere, they load in the elevator, do the wiring, the plumbing, they tack on the granite facing and set in the windows through which you see they've walled in the apartments, and before you know it there's a canopy to the curb, a doorman, and upstairs just across the street from my window, a fully furnished bedroom and a naked girl dancing. Another thing: how people in the street are pulled along by little dogs on the leash. Usually a little short-legged dog keeping the leash taut so you know who's in charge. He sniffs out the place to do what he does, does it, and then he's ready to go on, leaving his two-legged body servant to pick it up. They are royalty, these dogs, they stop to nose one another, they wag their c

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E.L. Doctorow (1931-2015) was the author of several novels, including City of God, Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, and The March. Among the honors he received are the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howells Medal of the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

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