These persistent references to water and wetness are consistent with the dichotomy of the quote in the preface. Stepping off the solid earth of the pavement—literally getting his feet wet—indicates Harry’s shift into deeper, more dangerous territory. Moreover, the image of water evokes ideas of uncertain suspension, imminent dissolution of the self, the danger of drowning, and even the potential for a total drenching of the senses—associative meanings that foreshadow the actions and patterns of the rest of the novel.