Short Fiction: "Babang Luksa" by Nicasio Andres Reed
He turns the corner onto S Bonsall St. The sidewalk is broken in all the same spots he didn’t know he knew until he sees them again, and then he knows every fissure and crack, every dog paw immortalized in wet cement. No parked cars. A lot more boarded-up doors and windows than there used to be, although there’d always been some. There were never any front yards in the neighborhood, all the basement windows looking directly out onto the sidewalk. Now every house on the row that still looks occupied has a rain barrel out front, and a couple have one of those larger, galvanized metal cisterns that look like fat little grain silos. There’s a line of grass growing right down the middle of the street. Sedge, probably—a bad sign on what used to be high ground.
And then, inevitably, there’s #2017. He’s been gone almost twenty years and it looks . . . not the same, but like a faded photograph of itself. Gino doesn’t know if it’s looked like that for a while, or if it happened all at once. If a year ago, when his father died, the color drained from the house’s façade. He could still turn around.