When Los Angeles Reminisces
Steel doors clang shut, closing off Grand Central Market from the dusty streets of Broadway and Hill. The neon signs have hummed their last for the night and fallen silent. Darkness settles on the rows of vacant stalls. From a crack as thin as a quarter, a lone cockroach on crispy legs squeezes through and skitters along the freshly mopped concrete floor. Among the tile countertops and glass display cases, the stalls volley echoes of the day’s noises back and forth like friends recounting the big game. Order numbers shouted over the dull roar of people’s chatter. The chime of credit card readers. The ceiling lobs peals of laughter down to the columns who respond in kind with artificial camera clicks that most people will assume is a random noise chosen by the phone companies, but the tiki counter knows the truth, having seen the original source back in the day. Beneath that, the building’s foundation dreams of the cable cars’ brassy calls and the rumble of the steam locomotive. Farther below, the dirt still remembers the thunder of hoofbeats and the Gabrielino people’s grief-stricken wails. And orchestrating them both, the resounding toll of church bells.
Sabina Y. Wong (she/her) lives in a tiny apartment in Los Angeles made from the hundreds of books in her TBR pile. Her works are featured in Full House Literary, Provenance Journal, Gastropoda Lit Mag, Janus Literary, and The Citron Review. Another piece is forthcoming in Gutslut Press. One of her stories “Shine in Her Light” has been selected for the Best Microfiction 2023 anthology. Though she’s supposed to be writing, she may often be found on Twitter, Instagram, and BlueSky @SabinaYWong.