East River, NYC

A clear and warm day at last. The park was crammed with people sunning themselves while wearing surgical masks, an unsettling sight that renders so many dystopian visions into documentary. I’ve never seen so many people at the park. Runners clipped old ladies doing tai chi. A mother pushing a stroller hissed at a man who wandered too close. A woman said to no one in particular, “It’s so weird how all of this turned out.” Even though we’re weary and prickly, it’s nice to hear unfamiliar voices.

In these masked days, two factoids come to mind: 1) the smile is the expression that can be seen from farthest away, and 2) a smile without contracted muscles around the eyes can “unmask the false friend.”

At noon a flock of military jets flew over New York City as a tribute to America’s healthcare workers because we apply the logic of war to everything. As of today, over one million Americans have been infected with the virus and fifty thousand are dead.

The Sight Below – A Fractured Smile

Glider | Ghostly, 2008 | Bandcamp
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.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Reading
September 18, 2016

The Atlas of Tomorrow

Drawing upon the mountains and fires of the I Ching, I wrote sixty-four fables for an interactive mural that invites passersby to contemplate a dilemma in their lives.
March 29, 2020


Meanwhile, I’m reverting to the diet of a five-year-old. All I want to eat are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
February 18, 2020


I remember sitting in a cathedral on a snowy February morning and watching an elderly couple hold hands.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x