So stood Times Square: empty but for the few locals in transit as attention-starved ads sheened and shimmered like the brilliant stars above a desert night in desperate competition for the attention of an audience below.
The odd native tourist-in-own-town stopped for a fleeting moment with smartphone in hand to memorialize what may be a similarly-fleeting emptiness.
The slow strut of cars was scarcely noise enough to smother the hum of the still-running subterranean subway, from which speaker voice could be heard on surface above.
Yet, loudest was a sound that stood out starkly like the crackles of a record playing: the gentle twanging dance of a guitar’s string strummed with studied fingers.
Like the Square, so too stood the Naked Cowboy, singing his song for no one to hear: tip jar below as empty as his silent stare ahead, eyes set past the empty streets to the better summers beyond and behind.