In LA every blonde was accidental, especially me.
I do something someone else called marketing in Silicon Beach. That’s a cute name for the explosion of big data. Information is as cataclysmic as it sounds. There’s never been so much room for advanced analytics and we’re evolving at the moment. We’re touch screens now. I reach for your face, slide and swipe to a new window. Your skin is a fingerprint-resistant slick surface. Chat with me.
Listen up, Linda: you were never my girlfriend.
Linda, Linda. Do I have to say it twice.
This is a season of wildfires. I remember walking outside and not being able to breathe. Having little bits of ash fall into my hair like snow. Kiss me in the remnants of a burning, like this is baptism, like this is rain. So I can’t breathe.
Linda – I’m warning you.
My baby’s gonna be a star. This is the second time I’ve sliced straight through the flesh of my fingers.
Now how am I gonna type.
I’m burning up. Summer’s a fever. Fuck me in my dirty car. We’re pulled over in a narrow street, in a Mexican neighborhood off Sepulveda. Well we were headed to the Grove.
Like, totally. I’m wearing sheer black chiffon. It’s what all the 14 year olds are wearing. 24 is the new too-skinny teen. I’m feeling too full in my moon. I haven’t had white flour for days and my ass is a porn shot.
That better not be cum on my hemline.
I’ll tuck myself up against the wall at night. Pull me close anyway.
Did you turn off the air conditioner? You’re sticky.
Go to sleep, Linda. I’ll see you in the morning.
I don’t really want to watch “Inside the Actor’s Studio”. Tell me a little more about your craft. Tell me about stupid girls.
Linda, I’m not super interested.
You say I’m an asshole because I’m not taking advantage of that quiet inside of me. Like that talent I hold is the touch of God and it is.
That’s a requirement.
I get it, Linda.
Sometimes I look at myself under the flourescent lighting of this shit little office and think, I am way too fucking pretty for this. I’m going to shut myself in the bathroom and stare at the lines of my face.
I’m going to listen to the whir of the fan and not the sound of your voice, the sound of you breathing, the sound of you telling me a story about you.
Yeah your bone structure is just like a model, Linda. Take pictures of yourself on your iPhone. Post-them on Facebook. How many people like you? How many connections do you have? How many friends?
Congratulations, Linda. You’re the most.
I look at myself in a mirror often. We both do, so we’re looking at each other.
We now live in the sort of space where everything that’s mine can be yours.
Look at me. Look at my arms. No, in the mirror. We stare at each other’s bones over watermarks in the bathroom. There’s hair dye all over the sink and we’re running out of toilet paper again.
We have private time staring at ourselves in the dirty bathroom.
The internet means we’re a community and there’s no such thing as oversharing. Even this identity, Linda. We’re one in a way we never can be in real life. We’re an online forum past midnight.
Show me your dick.
You have a face like lines of minimal code. You have a face just like a model’s, Linda. Linda you look just like a model.
You do stupid shit in the middle of the night like turn on the TV and sweat. You wake me up with your nightmares.
This sounds like a “you” problem.
I saw on Facebook your psychotic ex-girlfriend is headed out here alone for 12 days and she’s looking into rental cars. Maybe she has Midwestern dreams of movie lights, just like you do, Linda. But she doesn’t have your bone structure, which makes her dreams sad.
She wouldn’t last a day out here in the desert. LA eats you alive, while saying no, thanks so much, to the bread basket. We’ve cut out flour, rice and pasta. We eat really expensive steaks.
You’re not my girlfriend, Linda. It’s not like I’d care if you fucked someone else.
Go ahead. Try it.
I don’t even need to fake an orgasm in LA. I sort of tiredly pretend I don’t want it when I sort of do. It’s like I don’t even know anymore, Linda. It’s like I’m so fucked up I’m crying in the bathroom, while I’m pretending to be someone else.
Don’t I know it, Linda. You and me both.
Let’s pretend our parents are dead. Let’s pretend your ex-girlfriend is dead. Now do me.
I’m next, Linda.
Pretend I’m dead with my eyelids pretty and glistening and waxen like camellias.
Linda, you’re gonna be famous. Over my dead body, Linda. Over my dead body.
Linda. I don’t like it when you’re more appropriately dressed for the occasion than I am.
I really, really don’t.
Make me say I want it so that I end up saying I do. Ask me to drive all the way out to the west side then tell me that you hate it. You’re wearing your expensive knits and you never sweat.
We’re out at dinner trying to find things on the menu that we can eat when your friend asks you what you’re up to.
You tell him in a text I was never meant to see that you’re currently out at Mastro’s with the girlfriend and you hate your life.
Even though it was your suggestion. Even though I paid for half. Even if I make less money.
That doesn’t matter. That’s not the point and it never was.
I’m not your girlfriend.
Linda, you’re young and you’re scared, but you’re just gonna go for it. You tell me people tell you that you’ve got it, and you do. You know it. It’ll be handed to you on a platter.
Linda, you’re like that hot guy who gets hotter because you don’t let me near your zipper.
Just let me touch your dick, already. Let me see you naked. We’re getting weirder and weirder about this. Take off all your clothes then tell me I’m not allowed to see. Linda, you’re my Brittany. When she could still wear a nude colored glove with sparkles. I tell you you’re a whore and you tell me not to say that. You tell me all my clothes are from the slut shop.
I know, Linda. You wish, Linda. Linda, I’ll bet.
I’ll sing in your ear when you’re standing with your eyes closed. Toxic.
You tell me about total strangers trying to run their fingers through your hair. You do have really great hair. Stop telling me shit to make me jealous.
You tell me that’s your penis and I say, yep. Yep it is.
Linda, you tell me all famous people are a little nuts and that’s what makes them interesting. Go crazy already, Linda. With your cheekbones and your hair it’s all about to happen.
Dive into some depressed existentialism. Linda, that’s so pre-cloud. So pre-paradigm shift. Of course I’m checking my phone. Some of us actually work. What are you, Linda? 15?
Even if we don’t know who we are we’re not sad about it anymore. Don’t get emotional.
Over-acting is so over, unless you’re referencing kitsch and can I just say. Clearly, you’re not.
We use the word sexy to describe something marketable.
Stop bitching that you’re itchy and use the goddamn aloe. Stop shedding on my skin and talking about how it’s better than yours.
I know already, Linda.
Can we both get over it. Stop breathing and shut your dog up.
I’m checking my email.
Linda, I say one little thing about job security and all of a sudden I remind you of your father. You say I’m projecting and I say you’re projecting. You always make me leave when I make you feel like a shitty person for not being enough.
It’s one thing to have great legs and give face. Where do you keep your business. I mean, really.
You tell me I’m full of fear and small. You say you don’t want any of that in your life.
Linda, you make me wish Ryan Gosling was my boyfriend.
I want someone quiet with massive arms who takes a thousand squint-eyed pictures with his dog.
You make it so I just don’t know anymore, Linda. You tell me that I’m lucky to be with someone who looks so famous and people probably agree. I’m really pretty too, Linda. People tell me that and I forget sometimes because I’m around you too much.
Maybe we need a little space away from all this fear and smallness.
I’d hate to keep you from your big dreams.
Linda, you used to not be able to go to the grocery store alone and I used to love being alone.
Look how far we’ve come.
We’re back and forth, Linda. This feels like it’s ending, but all my shit is in your apartment. My TV doesn’t work. You got everything – the in-house washer & dryer, the pool and the gym. It’s hard to image giving up the knowledge of your skin and tanning Saturday afternoons. I’ve got my yoga mat on a stained carpet and no real friends in a desert sprawl of a city.
I’m eating an unknown heartache. I’ve always hated Splenda. I’m anxious every minute now and all my blonde hairs are dropping out.
My friends all say something similar. Like, you’ve burned them all out of your apartment so easy before, like ants in the summer you’ve marched each one out.
Linda, you’re different, and I don’t know why except that the devil might be in the freckles I know are on your shoulders.
I’m feeling unwell.
We live by certain rules, Linda. We licked knives.
I’m not allowed to be broken, not even for a second.
I wear makeup to sleep. Everyday is silk pajamas and backless dresses and dreams of the Coen brothers where I wake up screaming.
It’s overcast and humid here, and I’m feeling scared, animal.
LA is a small prayer said during the midafternoon.
I’m not sure what I’m saying but it’s for you, Linda.
It always was.
Linda, we’ve been making small talk but it’s been days since I’ve called you a pet name. Days since I’ve felt your skin against mine or you’ve used me like a pillow in your stuffy apartment.
There’s something wrong. There’s a dying animal in this house and I can’t find it or I’m going crazy. I’m asking other people, come here – do you smell that? Is it me?
Is it me, Linda? I started crying during savasana today. I’m wearing your sweater. All my shit is still in your apartment and we’re just not talking about it.
Linda, you said you had a psychic reading. You don’t believe in psychics. You said you’re starting to wear amethysts to clear your energy, and you’re starting to do things alone.
You told me it was just a phase but you don’t watch where you arrange your lies.
You told me this was just a phase, but I know just as easily the phase could have been me. Let’s play a word game where we replace the word “phase” with common female names. The last one has to be mine.
I get really angry, then really, really sad. You’re my best friend in Los Angeles, which I know doesn’t mean too much, but it means something. Every single morning has been overcast. Every single morning has been like San Francisco, even in the middle of June.
Something’s wrong, something’s wrong.
I’m scared, Linda.
My throat kind of hurts. I’m exhausted from you calling me at 2:30 or 3 in the morning or whenever you called me slurring and asking me to meet you at Denny’s. I don’t want to wake up and put in my shitty contacts and go to Denny’s. I’m tired of being placed somewhere between eggshells and lukewarm affection. Linda, you’re not even supposed to be eating Denny’s. You always eat the buttered toast and then you get mad at me if I don’t order anything.
My most recent tarot reading told me to be wary of hesitation. I still want to be invited over, Linda. I still want you to let me in. They’re replacing all the keys in your apartment complex and you gave me your garage door opener which will be outdated within the week. Did you really just do that, Linda?
I’m a child star saying I can love who I want, I can kiss who I want. I can be with someone who doesn’t want to touch me. I’m not ready to go back to a bare-boned apartment, Linda. I still want to be the young, hot wife.
You used to call. You’re still the one to call. It just means something else.
It’s the end of the world when I want to leave for Vegas. You’re a social butterfly, Linda. All of a sudden you know a 35-40 year old “girl” who is “so cool” because she’s “just like you.” When I ask you what that means, you tell me it’s because she 1. “doesn’t give a shit,” 2. “is vain,” 3. just like you. In that order. Then you mention that she wears crystals too.
I think I might have a worm in my brain. Or some other kind of infection. Or maybe I’m that much closer to having LA sink its roots into me, you sinking your roots into me. It’s not the other way around. It wouldn’t be.
For about 2 weeks you had me feeling uninvited. I’m not a guest or even an intimate observer to your blown out, ecstatic life, dancing alone in bars and buying shots for girls until they throw up and you get yelled at.
Now we’re eating vegan and I’m cooking all the meals. That was then and it’s so over. Now we’re pescatarian, low-carb, no wheat. No more club nights where girls with skinny knees grab at you on the way to the bathroom. This is LA, Linda. Look at me. Somewhere there’s a synthesizer. I just got an offer from Amazon. Everyone’s got a headquarters somewhere in the city. Insert img. Palm trees. Beach.
Alt txt. Meta description.
You want to go to Beverly Hills. We’re having breakfast on top of Barney’s. The group of guys next to us starts talking about peak season in Ibiza and the couple next to us starts talking about their third house in Malibu. I still have ¼ of my salad left when you call for the check. I pay.
I’m looking forward to our $500 dinner (which is actually $390, but since you’re paying, I add a $110 vanity tax). I’m looking forward to champagne brunch. I’m looking forward to two hour and half gym sessions. I don’t know who else has been breathless on this mat too. Staring at the ceiling too.
Linda slapped me in the middle of the grocery store after we had a bunch of sushi that looked like gems. It was kind of the expected end to the night. There’s places in downtown that are just like New York, just like Tokyo. It’s steamy like the underground. I used to joke about driving through a warm city night with my face bruised. Well I did just inherit my mom’s vintage Versace’s.
It hurts me to tell you that I feel as though I love Linda anyway. I’m full of the imaginary and real judgements of the people I really love. Linda, it’s nothing personal and I’m so inconsequential.
First you tell me I react just like a white girl, then when I forgive you, you refuse it. You tell me I act just like everyone else and then you grab my wrist too hard in the same place the next day. That night I drive you home and you tell me to get out.
And still I’ll brush your hair back by its roots. Tomorrow we’ll go get brunch on Melrose.
Linda, you leave me rattled, just like that song whose name I can’t remember. I keep remembering that one day on your bare mattress when you stared at my face and told me you like touching my skin. It was only a day, Linda. I keep telling myself it was only a day.
Last night I had a dream I owned a beautiful black and white snake with a Chanel mosaic all over his back. My brother gave him to me. He was only a baby.
My brother would pop open his little mouth by pressing gently on his jaws like a clutch. He’d drag his toxic little fangs over my fingers, staring at me with his sparkly little snake eyes the whole time. I knew he was poisonous, but he was still my baby and I’d wrap him around my throat when I’d walk down a staircase that I knew to be mine. I wore sheer white silk dresses and my baby boy would constrict, a changing obsidian and marble pattern across my throat. A choker. A charm. You can be both.
One day I watched him chase after a mouse and disappear behind a leather ottoman. I knew he was eating the mouse even though I didn’t see it. Even though I didn’t hear it. But then I saw a piece of him, like a shattered vase or broken obsidian and I was screaming in the dream, screaming and on my knees and surrounded by snake blood and these fleshy torn pieces of twitching marble and muscle and I was too scared to find my baby boy’s head and those sharp teeth that never bit but could have.
I screamed and I heard my relocated scream in this life, around 4am or whatever time it is because when we wake regularly in the middle of the night, nothing has a shape anymore. Linda you say I scream like a banshee and I really did, a sound so full of horror I’m laughing even thinking of it now. You wrap your arms around me and I can’t stop laughing that weird-breathy not-laugh. Even though I’m scared to sleep.
You wake me up at 12am. At 2am. At 4am. Time’s an estimation, because in the end, it’s another gray night lit by the blue of your television. At the gym you help me rack my weights after I do squats and I think to myself, you’re so sweet.
You’re so LA. I’m so LA.
Linda, you’re my dream girl. Together we’re so animal.