I see a person walking their dog. She has a surgical mask around her face. Is it a leisurely stroll? Do those exist anymore? Do you take in the pleasures of sunlight shining down and daffodils poking up? Or is that a salve over a wound?
A construction worker holds his bandana in place. He’s wearing a fluorescent green sweatshirt, yellow hardhat, and the red bandanna flaps in the wind. Is it doing anything if he’s touched his hands to something?
Looking up, there’s a black, plastic bag blowing in a bare branch. Will the streets feel more full as the branches bud and leaf?
The city of Boston is no longer ticketing for parking on days when there’s street cleaning. People are speeding as they drive because the emptiness is alluring. You’re not supposed to be out unless you’re going to the grocery store or the drug store. Street cleaning is no longer essential.
But, what’s essential? Is the process essential? Just moving and going someplace, anyplace. Are hedge fund managers essential? Are grocery store workers essential? Isn’t everyone essential? How do you weigh the worth of a person in regard to another?
Outside my window, there are no answers. There’s just the plastic bag whipping in the wind. The people I see walking by, but with whom I have no contact. The trees that follow their schedules, patterns proceeding from bud to bloom as we cover our faces, scan the streets for people to avoid.