On a Boy Who Sits

A lone figure in Turner Park, April 21, 2020

Yesterday afternoon, if you were to look into my heart and soul as I sat on our balcony overlooking the now closed city park, you would have seen a mellow, sympathetic, confused COVID 19 world inhabitant.

I understand why the mayor closed our parks. Too many people were gathering, sometimes in the hundreds, even at night, which caused mischief and serious crimes, (besides violating the current order to keep groups to 10).

Here is what I observed:

The Frontline Security officer asked people to leave the greenspace, which they did.

He asked 2 kids on scooters to leave the concrete stage area, which they, and their father, did.

He asked a young couple sitting together on the edge of the stage to leave, which they did, moving to a bench along the sidewalk, which I thought was open. No, it was not, apparently, because the officer asked them to leave the bench, which they did.

This is not good, I thought. It’s 70 degrees and sunny. This park which was just mowed and maintained needs to be used!

Next, the guard moved toward a young man in plaid shorts and dark socks, who was sitting in the middle of the stage, casually, yet thoughtfully, soaking up the 5 PM sun.

I felt for him. He didn’t want to move. He’s isolated. All should be OK.

He threw his arms up, a couple of times, in gestures that said, “Really?”

The security guard threw his arms up in the air also, as if to say, “it’s my job to remove all people from the park.”

The kid won for now. He stayed put. What was he contemplating? Is it a world problem, or a personal problem? Or, maybe he was just choosing to sit in the sunshine and enjoy it.

Then, the boy (defiantly, I think) got down and walked right through the green space (which is most definitely off limits) to the west side of the park, along the sidewalk. He walked toward a bench where the guard had just sent 2 people away who were sitting on that bench.

Our young man walking in the park, viewed through my balcony railing.

Benches and playgrounds are not open for use because the city can not possibly disinfect them.

I think it’s ridiculous. It’s all gotten so crazy. The kid (of high school, or maybe college age) sat on a bench, looking east.

A good spot to look out over the scene.

I watched him for 20 minutes or so, as walkers moved around him (the sidewalk is open). He didn’t move, as if deep in thought, or observation.

I went inside for a minute and when I got back, he was gone. Which way did he go? Oh, there he was, walking on the sidewalk. Then, he got in his little white car, and drove away.

I really hope the parks (and cities) open up soon!


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