EXT. MASON PARK, CENTRAL EVANSTON — EARLY EVENING
The playground is open but still as empty as it was when the pandemic shut everything down in March. A leaf bug skitters up an empty slide. A hot wind blows a leaf across the mulch. A few boys bounce a basketball on the court way on the other side of the park but we can’t hear them. We can’t hear anything. A MOM AND HER YOUNG DAUGHTER are sitting on separate spring rockers about 50 feet apart. GIRL, 7, faces away from MOM, 35, and hurls herself violently back on a plastic motorcycle. The metal spring screams as GIRL tips all the way back, body parallel to the ground, golden curls dragging in the dirt. MOM sits backward on a submarine, legs splayed, heels digging into the ground, staring into the middle distance and refusing to rock.
Out of nowhere, GIRL whips around.
MAMA! I caught you! I caught you red handed!
Mom jerks her head up, visibly startled.
Huh? Caught me doing what?
I caught you not. having. fun.