The shops in the open air market in Galois close at dusk. No signs are posted to inform the traveler of this, but as the day wanes and the shadows lengthen, some current galvanizes the crowd and from a high place you can see protein chains forming out of the chaos. The vendors fall silent and begin to pack away their wares. Who comes to them then, a little more willful or oblivious than normal, and pleads for a last piece of fruit, a sachet of spices, a wooden dancer carved out of teak, oh, he is ignored. Stony their silence and closed their faces.
While the sun is still in the sky the streets are deserted and the shutters closed tight. Receipts scatter the uneven pavement, greasy wrappers, pieces of food left for the crows. It is a matter of minutes only, this nightly death, so fast that the traveler who fights the tides that drag toward the exits is left behind, confused as the farmer who fumbles for the door that opens only one way. Did he dream those crowds, that din and tumult? The sizzle of fat around a sticky bun, the flare of a hundred different flowers? The buildings themselves turn their back on him.
And who waits still longer, until the three stars of night are in the sky, sees the lanterns blink sleepy eyes and open their mouths and cry alive, alive, o!