Archive for the 'Los Angeles' Category

Tattoo

Monday, June 19th, 2006

An airport waiting area, Long Beach, California, densely crowded with people waiting for planes, many of which were running late despite perfectly clear, although hot and oddly humid, weather. Packed so tightly together, some people, such like myself, retreat into their own private reserve as folks often do when traveling, but others seem more convivial. Three people in this latter category: A middle-aged Mexican American man with a prodigious mustache (who looked more than a bit like Benicio del Toro’s depiction of Oscar Zeta Acosta), a fairly young African American guy, forced by convoluted circumstance to fly standby, with a paisley Yankees baseball cap and an easy, cheerful laugh, and, at the center of things, a young white woman, who had a hint of an Oklahoma or Texas accent mixed with her SoCal slang, sporting something like a Pat Benatar haircut. They have all three obviously been sitting here for a while; there is a shared a conspiratorial rapore between them by now. I am fiddling with my iPod all this while, having just sat down in their midst, when I notice the girl showing off to the older man a tattoo on her wrist — a fairly small calligraphic character: “It means ‘beautiful girl’ in Chinese,” she explains.

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