10:36 am

We tried a different walk time today.

Last evening, you’d think there was a concert being held in our neighborhood park. People crossed the avenue in groups of three and four, arriving from all directions. They wheeled toddlers on bikes. They gathered in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking easy passage.

Parks have been left open. Presumably, people were to use their best judgment about entering, treating the decision as a gift, an oasis to be rationed and protected. People do not think this way.

We’re lucky to have one of the city’s most serene spaces just across the street, unruffled, beloved for its well-tended foliage, circular paths, peace. There is a footbridge where people sometimes set up easels. There are crocuses and statues and small-town smiles. There are benches for reading, thinking, crying. People, here, love their little park. Now, it could have been a refuge, even for a few minutes. It could have helped.

Instead, I imagined the human swell from four floors up and decided to try 10:36 instead of 7:50 or 8:02 or 9. Across the street, voices rose up from the playground, the lawns. Body after body poked through the trees. Everything was different.

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