Wilshire Blvd in the Miracle Mile

Wilshire Boulevard Sign

My husband and I have a health care center on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. There has been a lot of construction in the area as the city is extending the Metro Line from downtown to UCLA, an ambitious project that runs mainly underground beneath Wilshire. In addition, directly across from our building, a multi-story apartment building has been under construction for almost three years now. Below is a short piece, written in the form of a “monostitch,” a one sentence “poem.” I wrote it a few months ago, after observing this same man, every day when I would pull into the parking lot at our office building…

The heavy-set man sits on the low-level wall every day between 11 & 12 Monday through Friday, draped in a fluorescent orange vest, legs dangling, coke to his right, chips to his left, working his way through the sandwich from the cafe run by Joy, the Korean woman, who had to close her cafe down during the height of the pandemic, when all the offices in the high-rises went dark and people made their own soup and sandwiches at home or had them delivered from a restaurant in their neighborhood, where now her bread and butter are the guys on the crew building the sixteen story apartment complex across the street, guys who wear work boot, not dress shoes, hard hats, not suits and ties, where she’ll add extra sugar to your coffee, name a burrito after you, ring up your bill, count the change crisply into your palm.

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