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red shoelaces, left for blue, watching hands for signaled letters, reading graffi ti like newspapers. It was completely alien to Michael’s experience, the sort of life he imagined people lived in Beirut or Baghdad. When Michael fi nished it was twelve-thirty. “Show me where the Duke players are going to sign,” he said. “Washington Building, far end,” Charles said. That turned out to be the west side of the complex, north of the water tower. It took them ten minutes to get there through the crowds, long enough to hear Nnenna Freelon, the jazz vocalist, sing “God Bless the Child” and “Superstition.” The space was two stories high, with exposed support columns and a broad staircase leading to a balcony across the north wall, all of it empty except for a few chairs folded against one wall. An old white guy in a diff erent security uniform of white shirt and fl at police cap stopped them at the entrance. “Doors open at two,” he said. “Do you know what part of the room they’re going to be signing in?” Michael asked. Black &
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