Literature for your lunch break! Get a new story every day, delivered straight to your device, free.
app store app store



Los Angeles is a city of barbarians waiting at windows, breath held for the crunch of glass on metal. The logic of collision. Silence and appetite.

From the roof of the Soho House, she glares down onto the sunny forty-five-degree angle where Phyllis Street meets Sunset, funneling the world's finest motorcars toward the strip like a trap. She thinks of the valet, an underground athlete, collecting keys like lottery tickets. The owners vanishing into the Bermuda Triangle of Sunset/Phyllis/Cory Avenue, taking the elevator up up up, checking in constantly, rigorously documenting themselves, eager to not disappear.

She flicks her head quickly to the side, a youthful, bemused attempt to displace her sunglasses in one fluid motion. She is unsuccessful. Someone is, of course, amused by this gesture. Someone always is.



She is of course not Marjorie. Marjorie is unbearable, has a half-life of eight hours. She is gratingly witty, and just a soft palate adjustment away from a 1930s London stage accent.

–Are you meeting someone?

–Right this very minute. Aren't you?

Marjorie/Elizabeth/Eleanor/Skye surveys the universe through peripheral vision, each person a private little infinity. Each doing the same thing, checking to see who's famous, theatrically not caring.

Imagination, she understands, is electric. The theory of ships passing in the night, of alternate realities, of just missing one another. Of chemistry. Collision. Of saying yes always meaning saying no to a thousand somethings (or someones) else.

Marjorie/etc. drinks affection like water. She knows that you can be all things to all people, but only one at a time.

And that, in the right hands, Los Angeles will crack open your chest into a million fucking little pieces.