The Overheard LA Instagram account announced today that it would suspend operations amid the current national shortage of public conversations. “It hasn’t been this dead in L.A. since Beyonce played Coachella,” quipped a young man, later identified as Overheard LA‘s founder, while walking his dog. “I’m afraid Overheard LA is about to be the Insta-equivalent of skinny-jeans; over for now, but sure to make a comeback.”
As news of Overheard‘s struggles spread, the mood among Overheard LA‘s many fans was one of somber dejection. “This is the most upsetting news I have ever received, and I just found out my pilot is not getting picked up to series,” I heard a twenty-three-year-old in a sundress and fedora say as she picked up a takeout order from Mozza. “Overheard LA was how I coped with the state of the world. That and lots and lots of wine,” she said into her earbuds before not tipping the server. “I got to text my therapist and see if she has another Zoom appointment tomorrow,” added the inconsiderate woman as she came well within six feet of me.
As I walked back to my apartment from Mozza I could hear my girlfriend on the phone with her sister through the open window. “I’m so bored in this apartment with him all day it’s like I’m in a Terrance Malick movie,” she said before adding, “I miss being able to miss him, you know? I told him to pick up pizza just so I could get a moment alone. Oh, I think he’s here, okay, I’ll call you after I tell him.”
Shit. I know things have been tough these last couple weeks, but is she planning on breaking up with me?
“Being dumped during a quarantine is basically her taking a front-page ad in Variety that I have a shit personality. Why couldn’t she just have saved me the embarrassment by cheating on me instead?” I said to myself out loud.
“Hey, that’s funny! Like something you’d read on Overheard LA,” said a neighbor walking a French bulldog by my apartment.
“Yeah, well my life is falling apart,” I said. “And stay at six feet away from me, I don’t know what would be worse, getting dumped or catching Corona.”
“That’s another one! I’m gonna send that to Overheard,” he said. “Overheard LA is shutting down,” I told him as I walked into the apartment. “Well, at least we still have Quibi, said no one ever!” he said to himself, purposefully loud enough for me to hear. “Nice one,” I lied.
When I walked into the apartment, Vanessa was waiting for me. “Hey, we need to talk,” she said. I hadn’t even put the pizza down.
“You want to break up with me because I’m so dull that life with me is like a Terrance Malick movie?” I said.
“Where did you get that from?” she asked.
“I overheard you on the phone with your sister. Am I right?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry, it’s not you…it’s me,” she said.
“I suppose you want me to move out then?” I asked. She nodded.
“But it doesn’t have to be tonight. This weekend, maybe?”
“Fine. You owe me $14 for the pizza,” I told her. She agreed but I felt petty requesting the Venmo. As the two of us grabbed our slices we sat on our couch as we have done every night for the last month. But it was different this time. “Want to watch a movie?” she asked.
“Sure, whatever you want,” I said. As I sat there watching her scroll through Netflix and then Hulu and then Amazon for 40 minutes I couldn’t help think of how long we would have lasted if we hadn’t been quarantined together and how the daily need to go to work or to meet up with friends acts as a pressure valve on a relationship. Maybe we would have broken up eventually anyway. Who knows?”
“So, how was your day,” she asked as she skipped through dozens of Korean crime dramas on Netflix.
“It was okay. Overheard LA is shutting down,” I told her, just making conversation and avoiding any real discussion about how I was feeling.
“Oh no! That’s the saddest thing I’ve heard all day,” she said as she finally put on Hocus Pocus for some reason. Years later, that comment is what still stings the most about the whole thing.”
Overheard LA is not really over. But my relationship with Vanessa is.