I remember the night you called me, your voice awkward and intentional, “I need to see you. We need to talk.” I assumed it was the end of us, what little of us existed after a date and a smattering of lengthy conversations. I couldn’t imagine otherwise what could be so pressing. I sat at the kitchen table in my PJs, making notes on Waiting for Godot or some other drama, distracted by the waiting, pretending to ignore the looming let down. When you arrived, you sat by my side and asked to walk with me in the night, a privacy I didn’t feel necessary for a “let’s just be friends” conversation. I was annoyed but obliged anyway. I did love your friendship and wanted to pretend that was enough. We strolled the vacant street together slipping in and out of shadows for a mile before you stopped by a pond and asked me to marry you. Thousands of words spilled into that night, but thirteen years later all I can seem to remember is “yes.”
The terrain of marriage rises and falls like those golden Californian hills. Yet somewhere on that misty, unknown horizon, oak trees grow. Their misshapen and varied limbs raise to the sky, rooted and strong.