On Marriage : The Beginning Part 1

On Marriage : The Beginning Part 1

*feature image of the shirt we decided on

August, 2014

I was ready to call it quits and sneak out the back when I saw her. It took me a second to place it, where did I know her from, and then it hit me, through my whole body all at once – she was at the party, the one significantly overdressed with her backless blue top, tight jeans, and boots with heels standing in a sea of girls wearing lululemon leggings. I spent half the night in a circle of her friends, pretending to listen to what they were saying. I wanted to be around her long enough for her to remember me.

Her name was Alexis and she had just moved from New York. She was with Mariah, one of her co-workers, and they were going to give me a tour of the store before it opened. We were all on the patio of an expensive, organic restaurant waiting for lulu to unveil their newest store. I followed them towards the escalators, talking mostly to Mariah because the girl next to her scared me.

“Oh shoot, I forgot my glasses, I’ll meet you guys up there?”

And just like that, Mariah ducked out and left me alone with her.

We walked to the store and I asked if she had fun at my party. I told her I hated events like the one we were at.

“Is that why you sat in the corner like a murderer writing in your journal?”

“Yes, actually.”

Every word we spoke had a sharpness. I tried to make eye contact but had to turn away when she looked at me. I knew how to walk but I couldn’t figure out the pacing. We seemed to be power walking old ladies but we didn’t really need to be anywhere.

Then, Mariah was back, pausing to look at each of us for a few moments, taking an inventory of what she’d missed in the minutes she’d been gone and trying to determine why and how the energy had shifted into such intensity that everyone’s pits seemed to be sweating.

“Soooo…what just happened?” She asked. I considered the question as I caught my breath.

The next day I was back at the store. It was open to the public and I had casually learned that Alexis would be working the morning shift. 

“I need a t-shirt for Bali. I usually wear black or gray but I want something different.”

“Okay,” she said.

We walked through the store and I asked as many questions as humanly possible. I think I was exhausting her, she seemed to be constantly on edge, some form of resistance to the West Coast, or men in general, as encoded in her East Coast DNA. Just when I got her to crack a smirk she drained it right out of her face and returned to the disinterested, slightly annoyed expression she seemed to have reserved just for me.

I did have one thing going for me – she wanted to teach yoga to kids. That was why she moved out to California in the first place. While I was trying to inquire about her living situation or whether or not there was a guy in the picture she was asking about the type of programming we were doing and what the outcomes were that we hoped for. What were the kids like? When was the next session starting? I think she said stuff like that, I don’t remember. I had questions of my own. What is her boyfriend’s name? Do we think she’s Mediterranean or Turkish?

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