I Lived in Los Angeles

Mara Beckman



I don’t know the people I live with very well because we rarely talk beyond one-sentence exchanges, so when I walked down the stairs and saw the Mrs. and Mr. in a hot tub, I thought it couldn’t get much worse, but it did because she didn’t have a top on. So I said, It’s cold outside. Not in here, he said, and I agreed. Later on a man called the radio station furious that he had to change the live streaming channel because of all the jazz. He said no one should have to call and complain about this. He doesn’t want to be a jerk. He doesn’t want to be making this call. For the past three months he’s had to change the station ten times more than usual. Who is in charge? Stop playing so much jazz. Stop playing instrumental music. I can’t stand it. Finally, when more than two people say thanks for coming, I inevitably start to think it sounds weird. Is it because I wore two different shoes and only realized it when I got home? Everyone has had more than one occasion of being at a party and realizing you’re not staying the night and you’re the only one not staying the night.


Mara Beckman holds an MFA from Columbia University. Her work has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She lives in New York City and is working on a collection of short stories.