We don’t know anyone in this town. We call it a town but it’s an enormous city, a vast seascape that butts up to some really tall mountains that hug the entire heap of land. It’s marvelous some days, when we are driving east and we can see the snowcapped monstrosities lingering over downtown Los Angeles. I think we hate each other; there’s no one else to hang out with. We find sweaty activities easier, the kind where we’re breathing heavily and can’t talk about nothing. Hate could be a strong word, but I feel it when we play The Doors in our Jeep on the way to all of these never-ending hikes.

“It’s like these people still love this guy,” he says.

Really, it could be the only place that remembers Jim Morrison with such nostalgia. The Doors are always on the radio, everywhere, and sometimes in Venice there’s a look-a-like Lizard King asking for money. Once I tossed a quarter into that guitar case and he didn’t speak to me until after our afternoon run.

We used to run side-by-side, but his stamina has built up quicker than mine. I’m lucky he lets me follow. Which, I do, very dutifully, right behind him. Some days I lead, and I wear myself out, running as fast as I possibly can, hoping I’m making it harder for him. But it’s not hard for him.

When he wanted to leave New York, I said I’d go. He said it was time we tried something new, something else, somewhere sunny, and somewhere we could afford. And now we’ve got all this cash and nothing to spend it on, except new running shoes, hiking gear and finally, the new tent we’re thinking of purchasing.

The apartment is drenched in creamy yellow light in the mornings and against our blue couch, it’s like our living room is a sea of meringue. Only five blocks to the Pacific Ocean. We’re really lucky to have a washer and dryer, and the closet is so big that our entire New York life fits in it comfortably.

We go to Sport Chalet a lot. I’ve really gotten into those shirts that are lightweight and loose, like a thinner version of a basketball jersey. It strangely keeps me warm and dry, a super comfortable way to get through our 5ks. No chaffing.

Our sex drives are eager these days. Like when we first started dating, when we’d touch just because we were bored or there was enough time in the day. Now we are fit and eager. And bored. He often peels off my sweaty clothes and throws them into the pile of foul smelling spandex.

We haven’t met anyone, although friends visit occasionally. Before they arrive we ritually clean the apartment and he gets a haircut. I usually buy a new shade of lipstick, for the photos that will be posted online. I want our friends to know how great it is out here. All the sunshine, my nose freckles, the purple haze that hangs on the horizon, everything about this place is pink and purple and indigo at night. The stars are magnificent and under the full moons, the sea actually sparkles. I want that lipstick to hide all the loneliness.

I spent fifty bucks on potted cacti and succulents. All the sun in this place shouldn’t be wasted. I’ve lined them up near the big windows and I check on them in the early mornings before we trot off down the boardwalk.


About the Author: Crissy Van Meter is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. She's the co-founder of Five [Quarterly]. She tweets @crisseav.

Story Song: "Love Street" by The Doors