last week when I churned out a barely passing paper. When my dad was
teaching me to drive, the first corner I turned I blew out a tire and never
“How can you live in LA and not drive?”
“Uber, Lyft,” he said. They hadn’t yet returned to the city, not to-
“I rejected the first role they offered me,” he said. “I was still a kid. My
parents let me say no.”
“Lucky for me,” she said.
“Maybe not. We’d be sitting pretty. As my dad used to say.”
“Like, When our ship comes in?”
“Our dads were sort of the same, then.”
“Don’t go there,” he said. He let the implication sink in before he con-
tinued. “I pull out of things before they’re done.”
“Not with me, you don’t,” she said, as if a sexual joke could disarm
his worry. Fail, she thought. “And don’t even think Not yet. History isn’t
In Los Angeles, living together, sort of, in the apartment she kept
with another aspiring and often absent actor, alone together one night as
they ate Thai food in bed and watched themselves perform their Renais-
sance love story with the volume set on mute, she said, midepisode,
“They warned my sister not to marry the man with the bright red car,
the steel-toed boots, the little goatee. They told her to give it up, to let
him go. But she wouldn’t listen. She packed her bags and ran off with
him. She’s the happiest person I know.”
“Like you and me,” he said.
She shrugged and turned the sound up as a scene they had shot together began. When it was over they made love, slow and silent, as if
her absent housemate was awake in the next room, or as their fictional
selves, caught in a nightmare.
“To not make a sound is absurd,” he said afterward. “Sound is what
we are. Breath is sound. Blood is sound. Muscle and bone and skin and
pain and pleasure. Or maybe the problem is in the making, the not—”
“Hush,” she said and put her fingers to his lips.
On a weirdly wet hot afternoon they walked on the beach, sand fleas
popping on and off and up and down her naked legs. “I remember a