Los Angeles Postcard
Cover Photo. HOLLYWOOD FROM THE 101, 2012. © JEAN-PAUL R. deGUZMAN
In the infinite city, it’s so late it’s early.
In the infinite city, somebody is going down.
In the infinite city, like waves on the shore, vehicles on the freeway—the phone is ringing.
In the infinite city, a legion of men and women stock, service and warm up thousands of taco trucks in the truck yards, in the steam, in fluorescent lights cutting the dark on the other side of a chainlink fence.
In the infinite city, farmers fan out in trucks from Tehachapi, Oxnard, Lompoc, Santa Maria, Fillmore, to set up their tarps and uncrate the produce in the gloom of empty parking lots.
In the flower market, forklifts deliver the boxes and flats, and workers push the carts and hand trucks.
People stumble to the showers lifting microwaved day old coffee and fresh coffee to their lips, they are flicking on the lights of kitchens of homes, restaurants and coffee shops.
I have just pulled three 12 to fourteen hour days in a row, 2 AM I am washing a pile of dishes the size of Mt Wilson, they could broadcast TV reruns from the top of it—Hawaii 5-0 starring Mick Jagger—they could show the old Ronald Reagan version of “The Killers,” he was a killer on those dirt back roads.
3 AM I am washing a pile of dishes as big as my house, with the density of Hoover Dam, this pile of dishes built the West and the cities draw water from it through a great system of silent green water canals.
4 AM I am washing a pile of dishes the size of a semi-truck, 5 AM I am washing a pile of dishes with a rat in it.
In the infinite city, the discarded bit of tomato green looks like a crushed spider on the counter.
In the infinite city, the dishes are piling up and the steam wafts from my hands.
At 6 AM, Hannah calls and leaves a message, then the rat starts gnawing loudly on wood under the stove.
My father died today.