An evening in the park

I’m sitting in Washington Square Park on a late summer evening. There’s music blaring from speakers, but I have my headphones on and am playing the kind of sound that this scene, and the strong breeze that accompanies it, deserve.

Only, through the headphones comes the crying of the little girl who went by in her stroller, and the guitar of the guy sitting on the grass, and that same blaring music that I can’t quite identify.

The sun is starting to go down but some of the trees—not the ones I’m under—are still lit golden-green from above. The sky is blue to blue-white behind them, and the water cascading—can water cascade up before cascading down?—from the fountain is a milky white. Some of the street lamps are dimly lit.

I’ve been to the park at lunchtime before, in springtime when the newly warm weather draws everyone outside and there’s nowhere to sit that doesn’t have at least five people in earshot. Tonight isn’t like that, and yet there are still so many people here, probably hundreds. Walking and sitting. Teaching a toddler to throw a football—sort of.

The wind rustles the trees and I think of the movie Chocolat, where a certain kind of wind meant it was time to go, to move, to be somewhere else, be someone else.

With my music in my ears it feels like that, but in the gap between songs, the reality of New York grounds me—at least till the music starts again and the breeze blows, and I look at all the people and think—Maybe.


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