Veronica slips out of bed and back into her skirt, loping toward the window on the balls of her feet. She hoists the sash and takes the chill air in on her shoulders and breasts, trying to remember winter. It's her own persistent vice, this nostalgia for cold places: burgs like Nashua, New Hampshire, Milford, Connecticut, and Paterson, New Jersey, these fragments of New England representing spots of happiness that flashed across her gypsy childhood.
"Child, you got a screw loose or what?" Harley usually says to her, having spent enough miserable freezing Februaries in that part of the world.
But one of the reasons she loves him is because he counts as a northerner, never mind that the six-letter word used to describe his family was never "Yankee," or that his New England was Roxbury and Lowell long before it was Andover and Dartmouth.