On Marriage : The Beginning Part 3

On Marriage : The Beginning Part 3

*italicized font pulled directly from journals

Wednesday 10/22/14


I woke up this morning not thinking about the girl who had occupied my life for the last 2 years but the young, spirited one who had taken me by storm.

I got to Jenny’s around 6PM last night and hung out on her front steps in Brooklyn. I watched the young kids in uniform walking home from school. I wondered what it would be like to grow up in New York, taking the subway to class instead of the bus. 

Then I dragged Jenny to Times Square. I needed to get a pic in front of Broadway Dance Center. Alexis told me she had taken classes there when she was younger. And it was her birthday.

Jenny thinks Alexis is into me. I can’t be sure. I would normally say yes bc we are hanging out a lot but with her I’m not certain. 

“It’s like, we’ll have this amazing moment where it’s obvious we see each other and don’t even have to try at it…then she’ll just pull away and act like she wasn’t just right there with me,” I said to Jenny as we sat on her couch. 

“She’s just scared. It’s real for her. I don’t think she knows what to do with it.”

“And then I don’t know what to do because I don’t want to be pushing on her all the time and making it seem like she has to date me in order to keep working on the foundation. I want her to be comfortable.”

“She is comfortable. Or else she wouldn’t be spending so much time together.”

“I want to invite her to a show on Halloween. I have two tickets. Bought them without knowing who I’d take.”

“You definitely should. She’ll like that.” 


Oh god, I just invited her to Cut Copy. I’m gonna have a stroke. She’s gonna have plans already, I can feel it. I’m shaking. Heart is pounding. 


She responded.

“What time is the show? (I work until 6).”

“Oh god Jenny, she asked what time the show is. What do I say?!”

“You tell her what time the show is you dummy.” 

“Later. Like 9 or 10. You like Cut Copy?”

“Yeah, they’re so 80s.”

“Is she being serious or is she making fun of me for having tickets?” I asked Jenny like I was negotiating a hostage situation.

“She’s being playful.” Jenny seemed amused. 

Thirty more minutes went by without a yes or a no. I was not in a good position. She was giving me a slight brush off and if I just sat back I was afraid the convo would fade away completely. 


“It’s way better than a Halloween party,” I said.

“DEBATABLE,” she responded.

Jenny loved that one. “I like her.”

I told Alexis to stop torturing me.

“Am I torturing you? ……Yes, I would like to go.”

Tiger Woods fist pump.

I turned to Jenny, slowly lifting my head from the screen like a kid who just made it to the last level of Super Mario Bros, “Yes, I would like to go,” I said like the narrator of our story. “What does it mean?!”

“It means she wants to go with you. She likes you! Are you insane?!”


Yeah, I’m going to sleep excited. “Yes, I would like to go.” I wonder what it will be like when I kiss her. 

“Yes, I would like to go.”

“Yes, I would like to go.” 

“Yes, I would like to go.” 

It was raining every day and Jenny and I never seemed to have umbrellas. The first night we left them outside the dance center and they were quickly stolen by other people caught in the rain. New York. 

In the mornings we worked out and then we made healthy smoothies and breakfast. There was a new park on the waterfront in Brooklyn. They had basketball courts, racquetball, pull up bars, and a patch of turf where we could do lunges and sprints. It was open air, under a bridge, and given even the slightest glimmer of sun, packed with New Yorkers. 

Jenny was a healthy lifestyle blogger so everything that happened needed to have a picture taken. Things took longer but I didn’t mind because she was posting pics of me too and with her large following of women ages 21-35 I was getting quite an uptick in popularity. 

She paused from scrambling the eggs and looked at me, “Yes, I would like to go.” 

I picked up my phone and opened the texts to see it again. “Yes, I would like to go,” I repeated with a smile. 

Back home (how I wished New York was ‘home’), the yoga studio was officially on the market. I was asking for $80,000 so I could pay back most of my debt and walk away. In the meantime, I had to keep the studio afloat by transferring my own paychecks from making videos for Greg into the business account. 

Being in New York felt right. The pace was comfortable and everyone had something to do. I hadn’t visited since my brother lived there a few years before.

I would grow to love Jenny and New York together in such a deep way. I could be myself around her. We talked about nothing but our feelings, all day and night until we were so confused about life that we had to just fall asleep. What does it even mean?!

Her apartment was a sanctuary where I could talk through my insane feelings for so many women that changed depending on the minute. She never judged. Only listened and offered her opinion. In between our couch sessions we made delicious meals together, went to yoga, and took walks through Prospect Park for hours until the skin on our forearms was cold from the evening coming on. 

Thur 10/23/14


More pillow talk with Jenny on the couches. She stays out with me until we can’t keep our eyes open anymore. We talked about relationships, sex, love. She is telling me not to sleep w/ Alexis right away. 

I don’t want to rush it with Alexis. I want to drag it out and really like her. 

“Yes, I would like to go.”

I wonder what she thinks of me. 

The next day we went to Hu Kitchen in Manhattan to meet with more New York friends and then to Barry’s Bootcamp for a $37 workout. When Jenny had meetings I walked through the city listening to London Grammar on my headphones. 


“Does she like me?” I ask Jenny.

“Yes. She likes you. She’s just playing it cool because she probably knows your reputation.” 

She is only giving me little nuggets. Still, I want her. 


I just turned a corner with Alexis. I asked her if she wanted me to take anymore nostalgic pics.

“Nah. Hunger Games pics pretty much nailed it,” she replied.

I posted a pic looking like a 12 year old in front of the HG advertisement and posted it. She liked it which means she loves me. 

Then she sent me a skyline cab shot of her last time in NYC and said she misses it.

I didn’t reply, bc of the Art of Seduction.

Then I said, “haha,” only referring to the H Games comment.

So she wrote back w/ a pic of chocolate covered popcorn from Buffalo that she said I should try. 

“Let’s sneak it into the movies,” I said.

And here’s the golden moment….

“What movie are we seeing next?” She asked.

Trumpets playing in the background as my heart burst into flames.

Jenny and I were watching the first season of True Detective with her roommate, Steve, at the end of every day. It had become ritualistic on that trip. The show itself was a spiritual experience making me question everything about life and finally realizing what good acting was for the first time. Poor Steve had to sit at the table, studying for med school, and listen to us blabber for hours about the implications of the exclamation point at the end of a text message. Do you think she meant it like “I’m excited!” or more like “cool” ? He was unfamiliar with people who could spend an entire day talking about only themselves.

“No offense, but what do you do for work?” he asked me. 

Jenny laughed and said that being a psychopath was a full-time job. 

After the first episode we were so enamored by the mysteries of the universe I took out the last note Darci gave me – that said I was her best friend and every day she spent with me was the best day of her life. I had been carrying it with me like a passport, traveling everywhere I did. We were going to fucking burn it in a sacrificial ceremony.

I didn’t know until that moment but the rain of the last few days had soaked through my backpack and washed all her words off the paper. The texture felt of money just out of the washing machine and all that was left were some blots of ink piled up on the edges. At 11:45PM we lit the note on fire and blew the ashes out the window. But it only half burned, like I only half broke up with her, the dampness smoldered the flames. Not to be discouraged, I went to the stove and roasted the rest. 

I went to meetings around the city with Wanderlust and Yoganonymous to see if there was work for me. I would need about $6k/month in income to have the life I wanted plus an initial $8k upfront to move there. At the moment, I had about negative $1000/month with over $100k in debt so I was very close.  

Saturday 10/25/14


Alexis is texting me asking what I’m up today. We’re like a couple already. 

Horoscope says everything I want I can have in the next few weeks. I’m about to embark on the best time of the year. Don’t worry about money or relationships and just focus on the good things.

Those are the good things.

I rode the train to the Upper East Side to meet my buddy Lev for some pickup basketball at the Y. It was raining again. When I was a kid I loved when my dad put on a raincoat to head into work in the morning. I thought it meant he was really important and I couldn’t wait to have a raincoat to wear to the office. 

Jenny made dinner – roasted chicken and butternut squash. An arugula salad with lemon garlic dressing. 

We watched more True Detective and then I told Alexis I wanted to talk on the phone.


She called me. I walked and we talked for 32 minutes. She’s funny. Dark. Was in a mood today. Wants to quit her job. I tried to stay on point and still be myself. It was only awkward here and there. Not bad for our first phone call.

She said she had to go. I told one more story and then said I had to go. 


3 more episodes. We feel dirty and worthless. But this show is amazing.

Texting about it w/ Alexis.

Darci is sad and lonely in her new city.

The next time on the phone was 2 hours and 29 minutes. True Detective finale had just happened and I needed someone to bring me back down. “I’ve gotta go,” I told Jenny. “Go!” she said.

Alexis watched every episode twice when it first came out. We spoke to each other like junkies talking about meth. Can you believe they shot that monologue with Rust in one take? I mean, I was barely breathing while they were walking through the maze. Did you know it was him the whole time? I thought it might’ve been. My legs carried me through the streets, block after block. 

We talked about relationships. How we both become different people. Co-dependent and out of control. Best to avoid them altogether, she thought. 

We laughed hysterically. 

She offered to pick me up from the airport.

I told her I’d take her out to dinner.

“We’ve been talking almost 3 hours,” she said.

“Is your phone hot?” I asked.


“How do you feel about talking this long?” I asked.

“Fine,” she said after a pause to consider.

We both laughed.

The next day I would fly home and she would pick me up at the airport. I would leave my body again to tell another girl I liked her. This time it wouldn’t be a fun game, it was more that my life was on the line.

Bahn Thai was a street style Thai restaurant that I’d gone to a few times with Greg and Mijon. Alexis loved Thai and I wanted to impress her with something better than a traditional sit-down restaurant. They served you on paper plates and you had to crowd around to find a place to sit since there were only about 12 chairs scattered around the sidewalk. The spice levels went up to ten but if you were white they advised not to go past a two.  

In typical Alexis fashion, she acted unimpressed by the place. She looked up at the sign and then around at the tables and chairs and then at me, a distant cousin of a smile trying to claw its way on her face. 

But she loved her Pad Thai, making me 4/4 on restaurant calls with her up to that point. We finished eating and walked around the park for a while. I tried not to stare at her butt but it was hard, as her jeans shifted from side to side with each step and made me increasingly more jealous of their proximity to the great cheeks I wanted to rest my head on and take a nap. 

After a few aimless, quickly paced laps around the park I asked if she wanted tea. There was a cool place open late down the street. We had no agenda other than staying together for as long as possible without making it obvious that we didn’t want the night to end. 

Wednesday 10/29/14


I can’t believe I’m awake. I shouldn’t be. But how can you sleep after something like that? 

She dropped me off at the studio and I asked her to come in and listen to music. I put two blankets down in the middle of the floor and Fleetwood Mac on the stereo. It was her favorite band and I knew enough of their songs to mumble along and give the impression that I was a fan. 

I was inching closer and closer to her hoping our shoulders could just barely start touching.

What we talked about is a fucking mystery. I only remember trying to slow my heart rate down with deep breathing without seeming like a psychopath who was about to murder her. I do remember her reminding me why relationships are shit. I told her I disagreed and thought they were everything and that two people could save each other. She didn’t agree, but she didn’t openly say anything to contest. 

After I gave myself the pep talk I got that nervous feeling of having my brain invaded by aliens. I was about to do something I wanted to do but absolutely did not want to do. 

“If we keep hanging out like this are you going to start liking me?” Fuck. That wasn’t the line I had rehearsed. Where did that come from?

“Are you kidding me with that question right now?” She practically yelled at me.

I searched the room for the right thing to say, feeling like my thoughts were betraying me and maybe I should just pull the blanket over my head and pretend to be asleep. 

“Alright fine. I’m starting to like you,” I said.

She said nothing and I would’ve tried to walk back the whole thing if I was in control of the moment. 

“But it’s totally cool if….” I continued.

“Oh shut up with that bullshit,” she interjected.


“Don’t say it’s cool if you don’t mean it,” she continued.

I was having to dig for something I hadn’t dug for before. 

“Alright, it’s not cool. I like you. And I anticipate that continuing.” 

Silence. Only now I can see her smiling.

I told her why I liked her. She spoke differently, thought differently. She wasn’t like anyone I had ever met. On one hand, I was afraid of her. The stare she gave and sharp tongue she could lash me with if I misspoke or tried to pay for too many things in a row. She was fresh like a storm in the summer that washed everything clean and left me feeling deep with the weight of the sky. 

She pulled her sweatshirt up over her face and rolled away from me. 

“We can still be friends if you want,” I offered.

She shook her head no. 

“I like you too,” she finally admitted, much to her own surprise.

My heart had an orgasm. 

Until the next words out of her mouth.

“I was just thinking of all the ways I’m going to fuck this up.” 

There should’ve been a kiss. There were many moments in the beginning when there should’ve been a kiss. But there wasn’t. I was too afraid of what would happen if I did. She wouldn’t like it or I would like it too much and not be able to string together coherent sentences around her: That was for a good time my kiss your head is nice with your teeth and then I have to go now please. 

We held hands on the floor and listened to a few more songs until we fell asleep. 

I texted her the next morning, “I feel so well rested.” Our night carrying on until after 3AM.

She called. 

“Just making sure you’re still alive,” she said. 


Alexis came over to scope out the apartment before work. I had just taken over a friend’s place for a month while she was in India. I took Alexis to Whole Foods and saw 5 people that I knew and she probably thought I was the mayor. 

“Do you even know half these people that say hi to you?” 

“Yes, I know them all.”


She lets me drive her car back to my apartment. She’s smiling a lot. It’s that feeling. She likes me a lot but is trying to bottle it up and it just seeps out in these little cracks of the lips. 

We texted from the time I dropped her off until the time she clocked into work. I’ve already invited her back over after.


I tried to keep myself busy while she worked. I cleaned. Shaved myself. Flossed. Thought about masturbating and then stopped. Took a walk. Meditated. And read more of The Peaceful Warrior. It was only the most important moment of my life up to that point. She was going to spend the night. 


She just left. We fell asleep on the couch. My hand smells like her hair. I buried my nose in her scalp. We had Pho and I put my arm around her shoulders when we walked and she fit perfectly. She reached up and held my hand on her shoulder. 

We talked on the couch. Laughed. Stared at each other. Changed positions. I leaned on her and played with her hair. She grabbed my hand. We stared at each other but neither leaned forward just enough to extend the invitation. Come across this space into my universe and taste the salt on my lips. 

“I finally feel like I can relax. And all I want to do is lay here,” she said as she put her head down on the couch.

I was sitting on the floor in front of her, my hand running through her hair gently scratching her head. She smiled and purred and fell asleep in a few seconds. I didn’t want to push it. She probably hadn’t rested since she moved here. Everything moving quickly, no one to land on. Surviving and learning but never resting. I put my head down on the couch next to her and fell asleep with my hand still in her hair. 

“I won’t see you tomorrow,” she said before she left.

“I’ll see you Friday,” I responded. 

I wanted to kiss her at her car but our breath was so bad. She would have let me but in my hesitation she kept trying to leave. She was standing inside her opened car door and I was standing on the outside. Our faces were close but there was no movement. She was giving me a chance. It was the time. I finally worked up the courage to lean in. At the same time she decided she’d had enough and began to sit down in the car so instead of landing my lips softly on hers I fell into her door and pushed it closed behind her. 

She drove away laughing at me. 

Friday 10.31.14 (Concert Night)


Woke up w/ a raging boner. I haven’t emptied this thing in a while and it feels backed up and ready for explosion. I want to save it in case I sleep w/ Alexis tonight. But I also don’t really want to sleep w/ her yet bc I’m not quite comfortable. Still, if I beat off and then can’t get hard she’ll think I’m useless. 

Last night put a slight tint of my pure and crystal clear feelings for her. I don’t know why. She was sweet to me. She’s incredibly sweet. What is it about people who drink that throws me into a panic and lack of confidence? 

Alexis invited me out the night before with her two friends. They were all drinking and having a good time and I was drinking water. Everyone was cool with it but I could tell Alexis prepped them because they were overly cool about it. I put my hand on her ass while we were walking and I thought an alarm might go off somewhere. She looked at me like it was okay. 

I did so poorly at bars. It wasn’t an environment suited for my strengths. The conversations tended not to be genuine and the quality of time depended on how many drinks were consumed. It was impossible to hear anything over the noise. Delicate matters of the heart couldn’t be discussed. The whole night, I was playing the role of a guy who could hang. She was looking at me like a liability. Her life still involved going out. She was a bartender in Buffalo. She was young and not about to give up her freedom because the guy she had a crush on didn’t drink. It wasn’t a step forward for us. 

Before getting ready for the concert I had to check in on a photoshoot for an athletic apparel brand happening down at the yoga studio. I stopped by to meet with the producer and make sure they had everything they needed. She told me when the models were arriving.

“Yeah, actually you might know one of them. Her name is Sarah _________.” 

I gulped.

“Yeah, I know her.” 

When I came back after lunch they were in my office shooting. Sarah was sitting on my standing desk with her long legs hanging towards the floor, posing for pictures. Taped to the wall behind her was my photography work, mostly photographs of Darci and her friend doing ballet in the streets. 

It was no surprise, on a day like that, that Darci called me shortly after. I was walking from the studio to get lunch at Kebab Shop. When I saw her name on the caller ID I took a deep breath, thought about sending it to voicemail, and then clicked the green button. “Hey, Darci.” I didn’t call her Darkels anymore. She had no idea the things I’d been up to in the short time we were apart. “I’ve been thinking,” she said. The time away had given her clarity and she asked me if I wanted to give it one more try. I thought about how to respond when I heard the sound of an incoming call. I pulled the phone away from my ear and saw Alexis beeping in. 

“I’m sorry Darci, I can’t.”

And as if a switch were pressed, I was walking around the city in a fit of laughter talking to A. 

I had to call Jenny afterwards so the day could be recorded in history.

“How do you keep it all straight? I mean, this all happened today?” 

Everything was moving forward. We had the concert that night and the sleepover set up for after and pretty soon we’d be in love. 


Fucking disaster. I hated tonight. Felt uncomfortable the whole time. She was different. She put up a guard and was even combative. Not sweet at all. She wouldn’t dance w/ me. I tried to approach her and put my hands on her hips and she ignored me. I was embarrassed. We bumped into two of my friends -Rachel and Logan – so I danced with them. Alexis has some issue w/ me not drinking. She’s trying to prove how free she is. She leaned into Rachel and said it was weird that I didn’t drink. Rachel told her she was lucky I didn’t, looking over her shoulder at her inebriated boyfriend. 

Alexis told me she felt sick and wanted to go home. Apparently she had thrown up during one of her trips to the bathroom, or she needed to, I couldn’t really understand, it was so loud. She looked disinterested. The girl that fell asleep on the couch next to me with a smile on her face was gone. She was replaced by someone who insisted on proving we couldn’t work together, taking me to the edge and dragging my ribs across the pavement. I didn’t object to taking her home. But I did try to force a kiss. I don’t know what I was thinking, I could feel her slipping away. Of course, she pulled back and didn’t let me. My head stopped dead in a moment of rejection to see her neck extended back as far from me as possible without taking a step. I took a breath through my nose and turned my head to the side. She said she felt too gross and it wouldn’t be the right time.

I told all my friends leading up to the concert it was going to end with a big kiss. What a fucking fool I was. I didn’t want to feel that way again. I wasn’t that guy, trying to fit in and be cool. Comfortable with drugs and alcohol. Screaming over music to prove how laid back and fun I could be. I wanted to sit down and go slow and get so close we didn’t know the difference between ourselves. 

We texted a little bit the next morning. She said she was sick all night but feeling better. I was trying to stay busy with my own things so I could be cool and not make a big deal out of it. Then we ended up on the phone and what little restraint I maintained through text was gone.

“What was your deal last night?”

“What are you talking about? Do you have something specific?”

“You were distant, cold, you acted like being there with me was a burden.”

“I was having fun with your friends, then I got sick.”

“You didn’t even care about my friends. You were just trying to prove that I wasn’t one of you guys.” 

“Are you serious or are you just being dramatic?”


I ended the call

A couple days later she said we should have breakfast. I spent the previous 48 hours telling myself it wasn’t a big deal, that she would bounce back, or I didn’t need someone like her in the first place. I was easy to shake, and she shook me so easily my ears were ringing. 

We met at a spot between both of us, so we could walk and meet each other there. I liked this design because it meant we would walk more after and have a chance to talk more. 

It was sticky at first. She was still cold but a tiny part of her that I recognized was showing through. There was a wait at the tiny cafe so we had to stand there, amongst the crowd, and put our hands in our pockets waiting for a more private moment. I didn’t know if she was going to come out hard with more denying but her posture told me she’d done some reflecting and we would have a real talk. And pancakes. 

The restaurant was not designed well for my mood. It was bright and airy, lime green walls with rust colored stools sitting up to the bar covered in decadent pastries attended by smiling employees. I told myself we would split the check. 

Sunday 11/2/14


Breakfast was confusing. She came with the story of “she does this” and shuts down when something good comes her way. She flips a switch and tries to sabotage the situation.

…“I just thought of all the ways I’m going to fuck this up.”…

She’s worried about fucking it up bc I know everyone in the yoga and fitness industry and if she fucks it up she’s basically screwed for trying to get another teaching job.

She said she was in a phase. She needed to be able to go out and get drunk and let loose and be comfortable about it. She wasn’t ready for my judgment or the responsibility of being with me. 

I should absolutely walk away from this situation. But when I’m around her I want to keep being around her and it’s a feeling I cannot shake. 

I paid the check. Then we walked. It was early so the light was still soft and the air was still crisp. I would’ve loved to put my arm around her and feel the warmth of her body. But there was a good two feet between us as we walked along the edge of the park. 

“What changed?” I finally asked her. We had already been through her rehearsed story at the restaurant but I wanted to talk more specifically. 

“I don’t want to lose your friendship. I don’t want to be another girl you burn through.”

“What are you talking about?” Burn through? What had she heard?

“You have a type. You date a lot of girls.”

“What? What type? Who told you that?” 

“The girls at work told me. ‘I’m not surprised you’re hanging out with Kirk. He has a type and you’re it.’ It made me feel gross. I don’t want to be that person to you.” 

“Good to know that’s what people think about me.”

“Well, were they wrong?”

“It’s not like I’m going into this situation thinking it’ll end soon. I really like you.”

“I really like you too, as a friend.” 

Just like that, I was thrown into the friendzone.


Called Jenny on my way home.

“You have to decide if you like her enough to be patient.”

“Do you want to see her again? That should be the only question you’re asking yourself every day.” 

My loneliness was becoming so apparent I began to hate myself. I couldn’t function without the admiration of women. Being by myself was pointless. What did any of my accomplishments matter if I had no one to share them with?

I went back to my routines – writing, meditating, taking meetings and trying to advance the foundation. That work seemed noble and it would at least guarantee Alexis and I maintained some form of a relationship, even if it was just her teaching classes for the kids. Greg and Mijon took me to dinner at Underbelly. They wanted to hear all about the Alexis situation. They put me at ease by laughing and saying I was ridiculous trying to keep such a pace with so many women all the time. They told me to relax and just have fun. These were the best years of my life and I was obsessing like she would be the last girl I ever liked.

What if she was?

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