★★ The sky and the light and the people were all various shades of colorless. It was not so cold or so bleak that people would not stop to listen to the children busking with their string instruments. When they weren’t playing, the musicians stuffed their left hands in their pockets to unstiffen them. Birds fluttered over crushed crackers on the sidewalk. The wind tugged at the bills in the open violin case. A brief bright spell and a new darkening of the clouds made it feel as if the music had consumed the whole short day. The violist’s grasp was icy on the walk back home.