on the walk here

JS is sitting on the steps outside my dorm when I walk out. I see him out of the corner of my eye: a solid pink sweatshirt and a penny board. We throw each other an obligatory wave and head nod.

***

Vignettes of the weddings I would have had with each of my past somethings:

At JKm and I’s wedding, I would have fake-fought to wear something bright — a sunshine yellow sundress. He would protest enough over me embarrassing him in front of his family that I would pick out something white. Something innocent. I would have struggled to mingle with charming, docile small talk — or who knows? Maybe I would have been good at it by then. I would have hovered with his grandparents in the corner, clutching to some conversation about contemporary art.

Barefoot, wearing some sort of wildly appropriated sari for JS. It would have been in India, or Puerto Rico, or Africa — anywhere but here. His friends would be hugging and kissing and my friends from back home would be uncomfortable. We would smoke weed. We would sit cross-legged on the floor.

WB and I would be back home, on the beach, with everyone from high school, or come to think of it, maybe no one from high school. I don’t know who I would be. I was in such a transition period during the period of us: I realize that now. Perhaps he was also, or perhaps I dragged him into mine. Maybe I would watch him joke around with his white, wholesome, cool church community, or maybe not at all. We were so different than we were two years ago; was the feeling the same? This I know, from the start until now: at the end of the day, we would have sat in silence, watching the sunset.

I can’t yet tell what HJ and I will be, except that I think I feel very much myself. I wonder how the legions of radical feminists can each individually choose to make that nod to gender roles and still make grand statements about the collective push against them. I couldn’t wear a white dress now, I think, that low bow to tradition.

I’d be down for a brightly color-blocked skirt, I think.

***

On the walk here, there were pink flowers covering the floor. They look better there, I think, than they do in the tree: a soft sea in grey light below leaves.

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