A cold wind whisks me off the bench.
Toddlers play tag, round and round the fountain in a flurry of giggles and screams. It falls on the youngest, a boy with curly brown hair and a shy smile, to be "it" most of the time; occasionally, his mother scoops him up and runs with him to give him an advantage over the others.
At a small park by the subway station, a rat pokes around an elevated bed of shrubs, as people sit and read and chat just a foot or two from its twitching nose.
The clock face looks feverish in the dark.
A curtain of gnats hang over the lakeside path.
The show is a celebration of percussion; anything from stomping feet to brooms to trashcans can be turned into a musical instrument. Even newspapers can rustle together in a compelling rhythm.
I'm not sure where I am, only that it won't be hard to find my way out. In the meantime, I'm surprised by the appearance of a swampy pond, a stream pouring over leaf matter and rock, a clearing covered in yellow grass where an empty bench awaits a reader.