Carver sits on an organic bamboo bench outside the tea atelier. A chalkboard sign advertises a grassy green-black blend from the Zhejiang Province. He was certain the store was a front, but an investigation earlier that morning turned up nothing but a newfound love for white oolong, harvested by monks in Kathmandu.

A girl with a turquoise yoga mat exits the shop. The faint smell of peppermint emanates from her recycled BPA-free mug. He watches her amble down the cobblestone street, and he knows that her sweat-wicking tank top and crop pants are probably from Lululemon. A baby blue pamphlet catches his eye—he realizes she’s dropped it: DENNIS’ YOGA—HATHA, VINYASA, IYENGAR, BIKRAM, ASHTANGA. IYENGAR has been circled in purple. In fine print, it says: BOXING ALSO OFFERED.

“Miss!” he calls after her, but she has already turned the corner, by the fixed-gear bicycle shop.

- - -

Early afternoon. Bearded men gather in a beer garden.

Walon sips a smooth oatmeal stout in which he can detect a slight note of toffee. His dog, a rescue from the no-kill shelter housed in the space of a former strip club, laps up water from a bowl the waitress has brought him.

Across the street Bubbles pushes an ice cream cart: EARL GREY ICE CREAM WITH GINGER TONES AND SOURDOUGH CHUNKS, $6 PER CUP. He spies Walon—his NA sponsor—drinking, and darts across the street.

“Walon, how’s it going? You okay?”

Walon ignores Bubbles and asks the waitress to recommend a dry honey ale with a citrus nose. He motions that he’d like to purchase an ice cream.

Bubs notices a familiar face across the patio: round, smiling, her hair pulled into a loose bun. Kima. Her fork lifts a bite of omelet to her mouth, and Bubs knows the eggs are probably from free-range hens. She is with her wife and child and she looks happy. What has happened to Kima? He shudders.

- - -

McNulty’s Tinder date goes bad after he pretends to forget his wallet. After his date leaves he downs eighteen shots of vodka imported from a village in the Russian tundra. Struggling to stand, he leans against a Super Mario Bros. machine. A pretty, tattooed twentysomething punches buttons with her index finger.

“Less go home,” he says and she gives a nod to Marlo, who owns the bar—it’s full of Ms. Pac-Man and Centipede and other video games from the ’80s and ’90s. A doorman with suspenders and a handlebar mustache escorts McNulty out. McNulty thinks he’s a ghost and doesn’t resist.

Legs dangling from a barstool, the girl thanks Marlo. He tells her that McNulty’s a drunk who lives in West-West Baltimore, an area that may never gentrify.

“That’s so sad,” she says later, in bed in Marlo’s loft—a gut-renovated former typewriter factory with eco-friendly bamboo floors. He won’t call after that but she can’t blame him. He owns three video-game bars in a three-block radius. He’s a busy man. And she doesn’t, like, need to be tied down, anyway.