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The words are barred to him now, but as Darlene said once, it’s all in the hands.

The men he pickpockets never know. A low fluttering gesture and they stop seeing him; a twist of invisible threads, and they forget they’re carrying anything at all. Rob collects from them like a quiet, shuffling raccoon.

In his apartment, a figure is beginning to resolve itself: reading glasses, gloves, pocketwatch and fob. From one man at the YMCA he got black dress pants, and from another, patent leather shoes. The pockets are filling with coins, charms and handkerchiefs.

Rob calls the figure Boulevard.