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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Los Angeles: Late December 2019

So I went home and several hours after this I had to put myself to bed. I shivered and sweated for about fifteen hours and then I woke up feeling pretty good:

99 Ranch Market. Been here many times. Almost as big as a Costco even! With live seafood, swimming or at least prowling around!! 90% of the people here are Asian and 80% of the help. [The rest are Mexican. We nod and wink at each other like paisans, fellow North Americans at least. We don't exactly share a common language, but it's close enough.]

I grabbed a shopping cart and noticed for the first time there was no sanitizing handwipe kiosk like in every American supermarket. I'd heard about the plague in China but it wasn't in the US or really anywhere else yet.

Here in polyglot Los Angeles, nothing feels really foreign--it's all foreign--but I looked at the black security guard and said, "I just realized where I am."

My Chinese immigrant neighbors tell me they visit home once or twice a year. So does almost everyone around us here in the market. The security guard and I are maybe standing on Ground Zero.

We shrug. I go in to shop. He mans the door. I wonder what happened with him.

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