I CAN’T stop thinking about this beat-up paper sign affixed to a phone pole in Westlake, just a little south of Echo Park. I see that all the tabs are gone. That they have been put into a front or back pocket or purse. I wonder where Arturo went and with whom he traveled. Was it a long trip? Or a series of short trips winding through those many locations he names.

A woman I know, from a long time ago, saw the image when I shared it with another friend. A vivid story tumbled out: She said it brought back a strong sense memory of her mother and her mother’s sister’s treks to the curbs near the old Greyhound station downtown looking for rides to hire, to get back home — or to get somewhere, somewhere else, where there may be more work, more opportunity, more room or simply a place where things may make more sense.


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