Pershing Square at Dawn

Yesterday I took the dogs for a morning walk in Pershing Square as the sun began to rise. I found myself in the food court where they have plastic cafe tables. I thought I was alone until the sun revealed shadows sitting at the tables. Some alone, some having important looking discussions, some hunched over and rocking back and forth, one gentleman even had his laptop out. At first I thought they were copper-colored humans on proud display, but as I sat there in silence they reminded me more of a pack of deer laying in an upstate NY field. I was a hunter encountering them before he was ready to hunt. Entirely unexpected. Entirely not the vision I set out with for how my afternoon would unfold. A pack of deer shouldn’t have let me get this close. Their ears raised a little and wiggled around like small radar stations and the black ends of their noses let some heat out.

I remained undetected and stood motionless as the sun slowly revealed more humans. At any moment I expected everyone to jump up at once and sprint away, but no such thing happened. This was no Paris cafe, no Munich beer garden and very much not the Jarden in San Miguel. It was Pershing Square in Los Angeles and the only thing that seemed willing to move were the rats along the edges.

Even the minimum wage security guards stood motionless under the lights with their notepads in hand ready to document an infraction. The night lights blinked for a second then then went out signaling the official start of daily activities according to the LA City Parks and Recreation department.

I could see as far as the benches now and saw more bodies. These had covered themselves with all their possessions like birds hiding under their wings. To them it was still dark. It was still midnight. The lights could turn off or on all they want. I circled the park a little more until the sun slid in between the skyscrapers like a giant bright slices of toast.


2 Responses to “Pershing Square at Dawn”

  1. great imagery

  2. I’m really liking your microfiction.

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