January, 2011: the frozen wastelands of the North.

Sparrow (narration): My name is Sparrow Applebaum, and my life is pretty okay. I have a bachelor’s degree, a part-time job, a congressional representative that I actually like, and an apartment where the heating bill is included in the rent.

On the minus side, the job doesn’t actually cover my rent, my feet are always sore from standing for hours on end, the T has been late every day this week, and Bianca and I still can’t afford to get a cat.

. . . by which we mean the suburbs of Boston.

Sparrow (narration): Although we do kinda have a dog. And let’s face it: we could never convince a cat to shovel the snow.

Sparrow: Hey, Patrick!

Patrick: What? What is it? I didn’t do anything!

Sparrow: Shapeshift yourself a sweater or something. It’s making me cold just looking at you.