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May 19, 2013

You lean against the red railing of a bridge that spans the Moselle. The roar of cars behind you is almost deafening. Under the bridge, a passing barge churns the muddy water before it. You can see several joggers through the branches of chestnut trees in the park below. Perhaps they come here so as not to be seen by the rest of the Messins. A crow descends from a chestnut branch; it probes at a patch of grass for a time, before cawing in dissatisfaction and returning to its perch. It repeats the process a few minutes later. Farther to the left, away from the joggers and crows, four teenagers kick around a football, oblivious to the world outside the wire and bars that keep the ball on the field.

On the far side of the river, the park authorities have laid a crushed limestone path, which parallels the adjacent railway. A number of older couples, all in black, take the brisk morning air, hand in hand, sometimes apart, or with their eyes fixed on a small dog, ahead, invariably inspecting the shrubs to either side. At a frequent interval, joggers pass them by. They look up for a brief moment only to return to their shared silence. The jogger is immediately forgotten.

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