.

“Are you guys in love?”

I’m amused but not surprised, really. If LA is full of weirdos, Venice is swarming with them, so there’s no reason why a total stranger wouldn’t ask two other strangers a personal question.

Craig replies, with his good-natured mischief:

“I am, and she just won’t admit it.”

This is clearly meant for me, so I smile a dumb and mysterious smile.

We wanted to get a few beers and drink them on the beach, like the broke teenagers we’re still pretending to be. We asked a guy in the street where the nearest liquor store was and he volunteered to show us, so here we are following his drunken lead.

“Did you meet on Tinder or something?”

I love the dude. It’s like talking to a 5-year-old trapped inside a tall intoxicated 20-something body. Mom’s not around to ban his curiosity with an embarrassed hush, so he goes ahead and asks whatever the hell he wants to know.

“No, we met through a sequence of events.”

Again, it’s not me who replies. I’m too busy thinking about said sequence of events: me getting lost in Hollywood and hitting the beach hours later than I hoped to, the bus to Venice I was never planning on taking, the “Venus in Furs” that girl was singing on stage as I strode down the street and smiled for no reason. All those things that accidentally led me here, just minutes away from the unnerving first kiss.

They will probably all be for nothing anyway. In this movie set of a town nothing sticks around, nothing matters, nothing lasts. But the question is: are we? If only for tonight?

***

The person’s name in this story is fictional, because I want to protect what’s left of their privacy.