Sunday in the Park

The park is crowded today and it’s an awkward but kind dance among strangers, six feet apart. A woman bickers with somebody’s face on her telephone screen, the two of them arguing about the best way to dye your hair at home. “And I’ll have red dye everywhere like a murder scene,” she says. A few middle-aged men stand in a loose circle, loudly reading emails to one another. I hear someone say that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus.

We wear bandanas and scarves across our mouths like a haphazard gang or makeshift religion. The effect is midway between a spur-of-the-moment heist and a gesture of atonement.

Each night in 2020 I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these times into my memory. Before the world changed completely.