How auspicious it would be to marry in the year of the pig. Tenuto was also born in the year of the pig. What does married life mean? Is life about to begin at the start of a new year?
Just 23 years ago, I’d been born into the world in the year of the pig. I was told I had been a mild baby; that it had been remarkable how little fuss I had made. The same was said of my childhood. Nothing more or less than expected was how I had heard it described by family members. I hadn’t made enemies which was good, but somehow, I hadn’t made friends. I doubt I would ever be described as someone who was missed, because the impact of my presence or lack of it was about the same. I had taken a job and stayed with it since graduation. I’m sure I could’ve been promoted and knowing that I could be was enough. I had felt I had hobbies but on closer inspection it turned out I really hadn’t. I watched television and ate in restaurants and during the weekends I sat with people who knew me and drank. At least you are doing something I had reassured myself. Some people are doing nothing. Some people are doing nothing at all.
I had met Tenuto in the year of the rooster. He was also born in the year of the pig. Something we had both found to be particularly auspicious. It had seemed to me that he was also a person with few friends though he was convinced he had many. I had taken up a few hobbies and they were well documented online. In fact, I would make sure to update the people I knew about the events of my life daily. I was very interested in yoga and cycling I told myself. I had all of the best equipment. We had met at work, which was one of few places where I met anyone at all. He had followed me online and I had accepted him on various platforms. We had been tagged in photos and liked the same posts. Then we had spoken to each other.
I remember the celebrations for the year of the dog. Everyone had felt excited for what was to come. My parents had reminded me again that I was approaching 25 quickly.
The first thing I ever felt for Tenuto was jealousy. He seemed content in a way I hadn’t imagined was possible. He was always busy with something; something that had to be done, something that couldn’t wait. My life changed completely once we were together. We would watch television together, eat at restaurants together and on the weekends, we would meet up with others and drink together.This is the life! I had thought to myself. Occasionally we had conversations which would leave me with the feeling that we were meant to be together. Sometimes I would get the opposite feeling and I couldn’t help but feel he did too; but those times were short lived and forgotten. At least we are talking about something I would reassure myself. Some couples aren’t talking about anything. Some couples aren’t talking about anything at all.
I remember the celebrations for the year of the dog. Everyone had felt excited for what was to come. My parents had reminded me again that I was approaching 25 quickly. I had reminded Tenuto I was approaching 25 quickly. He had seemed less content than when we first met. Something in his eyes had darkened. Whenever he got drunk, he would tell me about all of his dreams. The life he had described had sounded wonderful, but I noticed he always described the events as though he expected them to happen to him rather than because of him. I asked him about it when he was sober only once. He had become very angry and shouted at me fiercely, but I could tell the anger was directed only at himself. I never asked again.
Towards the end of the year of the dog, Tenuto had proposed. When he had gotten down on one knee, I had felt a strange mixture of nervousness and relief. As he slipped the ring around my finger, the strongest thoughts in my mind were that I would be left alone at the next family dinner. Later I had posted a photo of the ring online and felt overjoyed at the number of likes and comments I had received. I felt so happy to be getting married. Tenuto wasn’t the same Tenuto, but it didn’t matter. At least you can start a family I reassured myself. Some people never start a family. Some people never start a family at all.
The year of the pig is close by. My marriage is close by. People keep telling me life is about to begin for real, but I wonder what that means for everything I’ve already done. For something else to begin, one thing needs to end. I’m not sure I’m prepared for the ending of anything. Neither is Tenuto. If it’s time to start, then I suppose this is the time. That is what a new year is for after all.