Los angeles; more of
Sam was sitting on the beach in his t-shirt watching the sun set. It was January, and still kinda crisp out but, the fact that he wasn’t wearing a jacket was somehow really fulfilling. This was his first winter not on the East Coast, his first winter in his new hometown.
Even as he thought of it, it made him feel weird. "How could this be my new hometown? It’s so fake here,“ he mumbled.
"What?” said the woman walking by.
“Oh, I’m sorry I was just talking to my-
“Yeah, you don’t do that sometimes?”
The two of them exchanged a look. Something was happening. Something might be happening they thought.
Sam had been in town for about three weeks. He dutifly found a modest sized apartment, had been scrubbing it down, walking the landscape trying to get familiar with his area, West Hollywood, even though he knew he wouldn’t stay there long. This was a temporary resting ground, just convenient enough to figure out where everything was, until he new up from down. So far he had discovered where the Whole Foods was, and a pretty good place to get burgers in walking distance. There was a pool in his apartment complex, but no one seemed to use it. Other than that, he was pretty clueless as to how things worked here.
For example, a born and bred New Yorker, who had spent his last 30 years in Brooklyn, he was used to making contact with people, but this woman was the first person to talk to him who wasn’t serving him some sort of food item. Sam was almost giddy, trying to contain himself, hoping to chose his words well, lest this situation magically disappeared. He looked up at the woman, who was modestly attractive, but more importantly, of a similar age. He tried to glance at what she was wearing without being…well, gross, and to his advantage he had the sun, which allowed him to cover his face and quietly oogle her. Slim, but wearing a full length winter type jacket, even though it was 60 degrees out. She was pale, and had frown lines on her face, as if they were always there.
“Sometimes, yeah, I guess when I get excited or nervous I talk to myself. It’s a bad habit.”
“No, I’m sort of the same,” she smiled back. My friends back home always give me shit about it.“
Sam’s eyes sort of lit up. "Where’s home?” he said.
“Seriously? I’m from New York!”
And instantly they had a conversation going. What Sam would tacitly admit over the next few hours of them talking, including the time they spent at the bowling alley, basically miming the other couples, was that he was lonely, and moreover felt guilty for enjoying this place so much. He was also really happy to have met this lady who laughed at the right spots, and was seemingly game for anything. As the night sort of progressed to a close, he walked her to her car, which still had New york plates on it.
“What happened to your door?” he asked her.
She stared at it, the crumpled mess that it was and paused briefly, before saying: