I'm at the Spin Cycle on Pico and La Brea. It's a meeting place for diversity like the United Nations has dreamt about. Young Mexican mothers and their daughters. An African American couple--her sporting large gold hoops and running shit; him, looking like he'd rather be elsewhere. A Korean woman at the front selling cheap baubles and bad romance novels.
A little girl with braids in her hair and a lot of spunk sits next to me and asks me to read to her. She picks up one of the trashy paperbacks between us and I am forced to make up a story rather than read what I'm sure is hot and heavy stuff aloud--I tell her the book's about a little girl and a pumpkin that comes alive out of a book for a day in Los Angeles. The story is bad, but she's engaged. She loves me. She cries when her mother is done with the laundry and it's time to leave and she asks to play with the lady with the boots and the books.
Everyone is eating corn on the cob that's dripping with butter, sold by an old man outside who also sells puffed pork rinds by the bagful. Most of the kids are patient. They sit, they run, they play arcade games. And I watch Will Smith and Bill Pullman fighting aliens in a movie on Fox 11. I don't have cable at home--this is a treat.