Saturday in the park

An uneasy combination of sunshine and masks, as if we’re afraid of a perfect spring day. Everyone at the park complains about how everyone is at the park. An old woman plays the tambourine and sings Simon and Garfunkel songs. I read Rachel Cusk’s Kudos while absorbing scraps of conversation from dog walkers and stroller pushers: “My therapist says I have nice feet” and “Of course the moon is high up in the sky, where else would it be?”

I almost doze off because I was awake until three in the morning last night, making a bolognese sauce. (I should remember to read the entire recipe in advance. Step 5: Simmer and stir for three hours.) “I just need to lie down for a second and make contact with the earth,” the tambourine woman says to nobody in particular. “I’m still a hippie.”

A man sprawls on the bench next to me, one of the few people without a mask. He has tasseled loafers and the shine of someone with a lot of money. He’s braying into his telephone, saying the virus is a media hoax. “Sixty-thousand dead in a country of three hundred million? Too bad, so sad, who cares? I’m a businessman, I’ll take those odds any day.” I want to grab his phone and yell fifty-thousand dead in a month. Instead, I move to another bench and he shouts after me: “Too bad you don’t like listening to me, buddy, but it’s a park.” Pretty soon he’s cleared out all the benches within earshot. There are many kinds of social distancing.

Aphex Twin – Grass

Selected Ambient Works Volume II | Warp, 1994 | More

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 days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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