The House on Carbon Beach

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She pulled the vegetables out of their brown paper confinement with careful consideration. It was another day of testiness. Perhaps if she executed each movement with precision she would feel a sense of attachment to her own life, maybe even a sense ...

She pulled the vegetables out of their brown paper confinement with careful consideration. It was another day of testiness. Perhaps if she executed each movement with precision she would feel a sense of attachment to her own life, maybe even a sense of pride.

He watched her carefully and with a timid worry as he poured her a glass of crisp white wine--she didn’t have a taste for sweet and made it known.

She knew he watched her as she chopped and sautéed, engrossed in the normalcy of cooking a meal. His expression made her feel like a petulant child.

They ate an innocent dinner together looking out at the beach in front of them. She began to warm up a bit. It had nothing to do with him, really. Sometimes she simply didn’t want to be touched.

After they ate, she suggested they take a walk on the beach. She stared at him as he rolled a joint with ease. She stiffly massaged lavender oil into her neck and wrists, praying it would seep into her blood and have some semblance of a calming affect. She threw in a bite of an Ativan tablet for good measure.

Walking on the cold sand of Carbon Beach they breathed in the earthy taste of the joint along with the permeating smell of salt. The waves lapped at her ankles and she tried to walk as lightly as she could, hoping to leave the sand undisturbed. She had caused enough wreckage in her own life.

She listened to him excitedly speak about the feature on his family Graydon Carter’s magazine had just run. She could tell that he hoped this might excite her as well and she cursed herself for not even being able to muster a smile. She stared absently up at the stars and pleaded for a feeling of any sort.

As she hoped, the relaxing familiarity of the weed awakened a more functional version of herself.

She pressed her body against his as they reached the stairs to the porch of the home. She looked him in they eye. They said nothing as he led her to the theatre room.

Then there was a shower and warm cashmere robes. They smoked on the patio and back in the bedroom she felt an overwhelming gratitude she wanted to share with him.

They slept intertwined and she woke up crying several times, having nightmares of tsunamis and not feeling warmed by the body next to her.

In the morning she was different again.

As they slowly made their way from the beach house to her house Beverly Hills she felt as hard as the marble statue taking watch over the Getty Villa on her left. She could tell he sensed it and felt a pang of guilt. She couldn’t stand being fussed over or having her fingers kissed every couple minutes. 

She climbed out of the Tesla, grabbing her Louis Vuitton overnight bag and quietly, sullenly said goodbye.

Even her sunglasses in the Los Angeles gloom couldn’t hide the deadness in her eyes.

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