Brooklyn, New York

  DUMBO

DUMBO

Behind the carousel by the river, I looked up. The projected rain stayed away after all. I sat with Rachel Cusk’s novel. I’d just read about a plane preparing for takeoff, and noted something in my notebook about fear, or lack of. On the flight to New Orleans a few years ago, I’d convinced myself that the plane was going to crash. It didn’t, and I realized there was no need to succumb to hysterics when faced with an unknown. And so a movement from the terror to the sublime.

When I looked up from my notes, a picture before me: five or six musicians, all wearing black, carrying or rolling their cumbersome instruments, suitcases tilted at their sides. They were squinting in the same direction. One pointed at the bridge. Another held up a sheet of paper, perhaps a map. They stayed in this pose for a few seconds. Surveyors. They all wore black, and did not know what lay ahead.