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On Marriage : The Beginning Part 5 - "I'm Not Attracted to You" - kale & cigarettes
On Marriage : The Beginning Part 5 – “I’m Not Attracted to You”

On Marriage : The Beginning Part 5 – “I’m Not Attracted to You”

Saturday 11/8/14

8:47AM

Woke up at 6:30. Was up til 1:30 reading Peaceful Warrior. It’s just starting to get good.

I’m still solid on my speech. Preparation removes nerves. Maybe I could even look forward to it.

The big fundraiser for the Hale Foundation was that day. 300 people would come together for a yoga class I was leading with 4 other reputable yoga teachers in San Diego. The mats were laid out on a rooftop surrounded by musicians, caterers, and live art. Everything looking over the Pacific. It was sunny so the ocean was a deep blue. I just hoped people would show up. Nothing was worse than putting yourself out there and not having anyone show up. But they filed in. Even more than I expected. And the crowd became its own dense sea. ‘A’ had been fundraising and helping me organize and now she would see me on the big stage. I spotted where she set up her mat and made a mental note.

During my speech I took a moment to thank the woman who helped start it all, the one who couldn’t be there, but was special to the foundation nonetheless. Greg was there. I asked him to watch my speech and give me some feedback.

The opening teacher was trying to be too spiritual. She was also one of my ex-girlfriends and perhaps a little nervous. Lauren’s segment picked up a little. She spoke less in twenty-something altruistic terms and more like a real person who had real things to share. 

When I grabbed the mic I told the women in the front row to stop dicking around. There were shirtless men (the other male yoga teachers) walking around giving adjustments and if they wanted a piece of it they were going to have to turn it up a little. Everyone laughed. Why do people love being talked shit to? I looked for A’s face. She had a begrudging smirk, you idiot, practically printed on her forehead. I don’t think I would’ve made the same joke present day after learning about the #metoo movement.

I drove up with Michaela but was riding home with A. It was our destiny to do the important things together. But by the time we were packed up, she was visibly buzzed and had a guy following her around. They were flirting. Even though she saw me standing right there. She giggled and said something smart to him while they filed past me breaking down the tables. Her eyes floated up to find mine as she passed. 

I can’t fucking believe I like this person. I cannot be with someone like this.

It was a sick feeling. But I didn’t know any better.

We stopped at a walk-up carnitas place on the way home. Her eyes were bouncing around in her head and her words were starting to lose their polish. I was fuming. I asked why the fuck she thought it was okay to flirt with a guy in front of me. She was still buzzed and not afraid to tell me what was on her mind.

“I wasn’t flirting. Besides, I don’t like you like that,” she said.

“You do though. You looked me in the eyes – that night on the floor – and you told me you did. Is that just gone?”

She was being backed into a corner she didn’t want to be in so she turned up the dial.

“I’m not physically attracted to you.”

Those words hung in the air. I was hoping they would evaporate like the moment never happened. She continued.

“You’re the kind of person I would want to be with when I’m older. But not right now. Our lives would make not sense together right now.”

“Okay. So you want to be with the asshole at the bar who doesn’t give a shit about you?”

“You’re being an asshole right now.” I was. My voice was getting away from me and what little blood was circulating to my brain was burning hot with rage. 

“I don’t understand what you’re afraid of,” I said after a breath. 

“I’d rather have a fling with an average guy I met at the bar than get serious with you right now.”

“Why?” I nearly pounded my fist on the table. 

“Because then I can just leave him and don’t have to worry about getting attached or being left.” 

Her coworkers had really gotten to her. He has a type. Brunettes. Dancers. Girls that look just like you. He loves them and then moves on. I don’t see why you’d be any different. 

I dropped her off and drove down to Chula Vista to see Sandra and Jaime. I saw them post on Instagram and asked if I could join them. I didn’t want to go home. 

11:30PM

Did she really like me in the first place or was she just caught up? Why would someone choose a friendship over romance when there are feelings on both sides? She must’ve known that it wouldn’t work out. Our conversation didn’t make sense.

“You’re awesome. I’m not. If I’m going to attract someone I want to be w/ then I need to think I’m awesome myself,” she said.

“I thought you were awesome straight away.”

She hesitated. 

“You don’t get to pick who you like,” I said.

“I can’t let this happen right now. I admire you too much. I think you’re smart and driven and I really just can’t afford to blur the lines w/ you. Not yet. Can you just see that,” she said.

“Yeah, I get it. I can’t argue w/ your logic or your fears. But you don’t know what would happen if you let yourself like me.”

“I need to like myself first.”

“Well, I like you.”

At dinner with Greg and Mijon they reminded me that Darci was my real ringer. They were putting too much faith in me that I could see the big picture, past the chaos and intoxication I was cultivating with A.

I was getting ready to leave for Asia in a few days. I needed new underwear for the trip and texted A at work.

“Yeah come and do your shopping and then we can have lunch.”

The air around us was lighter without the expectations of being together. We talked more freely about our feelings and we trusted each other. She showed me a jacket she really loved because it reminded her of living in France and then helped me pick out a few things. I doubled back when she went to the register and took a picture of the tag.

We ate Mediterranean food in the food court. I had chicken and rice and tried not to eat the pita bread but that’s literally impossible when it’s warm. She had falafel and rice and didn’t even attempt not eating the bread. “I’m glad you’re my friend,” she said. The old A was back. My sweet lady. It felt right that way. I didn’t want to force it either. 

When I got home I ordered the jacket and had it shipped to her apartment with a note, “Everyone should have a jacket for France. No strings, just be happy.”  

I was leaving the next day and we wanted to hang out. It started with breakfast at The Mission. Ryan, Michelle, and baby Jasper stopped by to say hi and get a glimpse of the new girl. Michelle winked at me after seeing her. Then we worked in my office for 5 hours – me at the standing desk with my big computer and her at my assistant’s desk on her laptop. 

11/11/14

5:03PM

Rushing to get all packed up. Three weeks is a lot to pack for in 1 suitcase. We might go see a movie when she gets out of yoga. I casually mentioned Birdman and she said she really wanted to see it. 

“Just text me later if you want to see it,” she said.

“Okay.”

She mentioned it again when she dropped me off at the apartment. 

She just needs to feel free. She is going to miss me. I can feel it. We had a good time today. She is settling into herself and slowly letting me see who she really is. 

I took a Polaroid of her. She protested which is why her eyes are closed in the pic. I’m going to bring it to Asia. Probably not healthy. 

8:22PM

At Saigon eating pho. She called after yoga and asked if I was still going to the movie. 

“Let’s eat first and then go to the 9 o’clock,” she suggested.

“Okay.”

Birdman was a tidal wave of psychotic rage that sang like a Johnny Cash song. The movie made me pace. I wanted cigarettes, whiskey, schizophrenia, and for a stranger to punch me in the face. 

We ate all 3 meals together that day. I hadn’t thought about it until she brought it up.

“You realize we ate every single meal together today?”

I’ve never seen her smile so much. 

I told her I wanted to take her to SF. We could get separate rooms. She rolled her eyes at me. 

She said, “Man, I really should’ve gotten that jacket if I’m going to SF.”

I smiled because I was fucking great.

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