It is Sunday.
A man sits alone and pensive, on a low boardwalk, before some buildings, in the sun, smoking a cigar.
Who is this man and what is he doing here?
Does he have some business that connects him with the darkened and boarded-up windows at his back?
Are they the windows of shops?
Are the shops closed, or have the owners merely gone off for the day, or perhaps the weekend, to return on Monday?
Is the man sitting here to kill time, because he has nothing else to do?
Does this appear to be the sort of place in which there would be a great many things for a man like this to be doing on a Sunday?
Is he perhaps waiting?
Is he waiting for someone?
If it were you he were waiting for, and you knew this, and were approaching from somewhere outside the frame, and he had not yet seen you, and there were still time for you to stop, and turn back, and decline to enter the picture, so that he would be left there forever to wait, in exactly this pose, sitting alone on this sad low narrow boardwalk, frozen in the thin warmthless unwelcoming American nowhere Sunday sunlight, is that what you would decide to do?
Sunday: Edward Hopper, 1926 (The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.)