It was beautiful weather this evening and I was up on Mt. Royal for my constitutional. The centerpiece of my walk is always a few trudges up and down the long, long set of stairs that leads from one of the mountain’s scenic walkways to the mountain’s top. On a sunny day the stairs typically feature a population of tourists and exercise freaks, and today there was also a young couple closely joined at the hip while they were being photographed. I should point out that the great staircase, made of a charming rustic wood, has landings and, like everything else, the landings are shaded by the green trees that crowd about the scene. If you want to pose for a photograph, some very good spots are available. The couple and their photographer had chosen one such spot. I stood still and watched while the photographer took a picture, then I passed on down the staircase, and then, a couple of minutes later, I passed back up.

“Is this professional?” I asked, meaning the shoot. The photographer was as young as the couple, and the three of them were joking back and forth, so they might have been friends just having fun. But he told me, yes, it was a professional shoot. “Do you want to be an extra?” he asked, bringing me into the moment. I said sure, I’d stand in the background and hold a stick. Everyone was in such a good mood that this was considered funny too.

As I passed the couple, I asked if they were getting married. The girl said yes, and I told them congratulations. They were quite a handsome pair: two well-knit mesomorphs with regular bone structure and pleasant expressions.

“Aren’t they nice looking?” the photographer called after me.

“You bet,” I said. “They’re great looking.” Then, to the couple: “Go have some good-looking kids!”

The girl, lively and cheerful: “That’s the plan!” Along with sounding lively and cheerful, she also sounded a bit shy, like someone who doesn’t normally toss out gay quips for the general company. The boy’s smile, as I met his eyes, was a little abashed, and one got the feeling that he did not expect random passersby to be appraising his looks. I guess what I mean to say is that, to be frank, a lot of good-looking people are kind of a pain and that these kids struck me as not being pains.

And that was it, that was the high point of my day. It was a real nice three minutes.