The Rumpus Book Club, Where I Live #7: Charlene Keeler

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I live in Huntington Beach, which is in Orange County, California. We are famous for surf contests and skinheads, but I have only seen the latter, usually at 7-11. Skinheads like 7-11 coffee. SUV’s line the streets, and all the restaurants close at 9pm. We have a dog beach, a dog park, and more animal rescue spots than anywhere else in California. We were recently voted the most dog-friendly city.

Hot girls walk around downtown wearing shorts and bikini tops all year long. People are on the beach even during rainstorms, even though winds have taken down the boardwalk several times. The sky at sunrise and sunset looks like yellow American cheese, and a lingering fragrance of crude oil and seaweed lingers everywhere. I think there’s an oil refinery somewhere close by.

I rent a house across the street from an elementary school, which is the perfect place to live between the hours of 6pm and 6am on Saturday and Sunday during July and August.


Charlene Keeler teaches writing at the University of California, Irvine. She writes short stories, essays, blogs, and screenplays with thunderously sporadic success. She will accept your friend request on Facebook because she has no real friends. More from this author →