“What are you to be?” His thick accent was barely understandable.
“A dancer,” she said.
The park leaves hadn’t turned color yet. The afternoon was chilly and the young couple held each other tightly on a wooden bench. They did not rest against the back, their shoulders were taut and their glances were fixed ahead.
A man in a suit holding a newspaper passed. A leashed Yorkshire terrier pulled a woman along. A couple pushed a stroller and coaxed a dawdling child. A tuxedoed man held hands with a woman in a white dress. A few lying about on a grassy hill applauded. A man in dark glasses swayed to a broken rhythm from his portable electric piano and shrieked the words of a smash hit from the seventies.
“And you? What are you to be?” the man with the thick accent asked.
“Her musician,” he said.
A horse towed an empty carriage and its hooves clopped into the pavement. A pair of runners jogged by and a pack of cyclist charged in the opposite direction. Nearby were the hum of automobiles, and streetlights flashing from green to yellow to red and footsteps against the sidewalk.
The couple relaxed when they saw the man with the thick accent, who sat behind an easel, stop sketching.
“Done,” the man said, and handed them their drawing.