Train people (Long Beach-Hollywood)

The elegant working girl, dressed in black and grey, doing crossword puzzles and hiding under her trendy grey cap.

The college professor, short, glasses, dressed just like Michael Fox in Back to the Future, peeking at the crossword puzzles, more interested in solving them than in the girl’s deep cleavage.

The poor but dignified handsome black man, with his perfect features and shiny shoes.

The young black musician wearing a sweater knit by his mother, listening to jazz and wearing Dizzy’s glasses.

The old Bolivian locksmith, the tools hanging out from his old sports bag. That Bolivian face that has seen so much, regal empires and centuries, and now, enslaved in Hollywood.

The black boy wearing his father’s clothes fresh out of jail and trying to stay out of trouble.

The mother and little girl equally sad and badly dressed.

The bad hair and bad makeup of the hip teenage girl making out with her latino boyfriend. Their equally cheap sunglasses, her blouse and purse in two different animal prints, and their youthful happiness.

The Mexican and Ecuadorian maids, so recognizable, in their long black hair, worn looks, their grocery bags, returning to their small green houses in a grim neighborhood somewhere.

The Guatemalan grandma carrying a cake and flowers for her grandchild’s birthday party. Her proper looks and beautiful dark eyes with a hint of makeup to disguise the scars of a hard life away from home in a strange land.

The gay latino door to door salesman with his perfectly ironed neckline and his cheap briefcase full of samples of something that nobody wants.

The muscular real estate salesman on a mission, earset ready to take that important call, muscles tensed as he waits for the doors to slide open at Hollywood West.

The electronic music buff, shaved head, bike by his side, rocking to his last generation ipod’s fast-paced tune

The handsome teenage Asian, the short latino basketball player, dressed in full gear and with no future in the game.

All of them, tired and sad this Friday afternoon, with the hard looks of subway people everywhere. That bleak race of the commuters of the world. The eyebags, the fierce looks, the fear in their eyes, holding on to their purses and briefcases like dear life, thinking of home where everything that awaits is someone just as worn out and tired and broken as they are and one of those sad microwave dinners, bad television, and the darkness of the night. It will start all over again tomorrow, and nobody can stop that.

I wonder how THEY might have described me. I don’t think they would have taken me for the “Uruguayan filmmaker commuting to Hollywood for a weekend with her childhood friends after a week of working on her film in Long Beach.” No, that would have been a tough one…

All of them

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