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Allison, Lydia, something LA that has hilarious personal meaning to you


The room is bright and airy, with huge high ceilings and warm blonde wood floors. It reminds Allison of the dance studios where she spent her earliest Saturdays, before she leveled up to gymnastics and then to self-defense: a hundred or so very lithe young women in expensive, colorful spandex pointing and flexing their toes, comparing pedicures and the names of their acupuncturists, their juice cleanses, dog trainers, psychics. “I can’t believe you do this,” she says to Lydia, who’s distributing a mountain of props between the two of them: blankets, blocks, straps, bolsters. “Yoga, Lydia. Yoga.”

"There’s an increasingly compelling body of medical evidence that meditation decreases stress and increases longevity," Lydia says coolly, wrapping her long hair up into a tight, neat bun. "Plus, yoga arms."

"Yoga thighs, yoga ass," Allison observes, looking appreciatively around the room. It’s almost entirely women and she doesn’t swing that way, particularly, but she’s an appreciative observer of human beauty, all right, and there’s a lot on display on the mats around her, right now. There are maybe four men arrayed in the front row, each of them muscle-bound and shirtless, doing fancy, complicated handstands and making a lot of noise about the effort.

"Yoga everything," Lydia agrees. "Plus if you come during the week there are always famous people in the classes, which makes sweating feel a little less undignified." Allison laughs and rolls her eyes: it’s stupidly comforting how little has changed in the last few months, that Lydia is still Lydia, underneath her even-fancier haircut and ever more expensive clothes.

She rolled back into Beacon Hills for winter break in leggings and ankle boots, with a new drawl in her vowels, a habit of saying things were sick or gnarly, pictures on her phone of movie-star handsome boys on the beach in rolled down wetsuits, squinting against the glare of the southern California sun. Allison has always felt—provincial, is probably the word, next to Lydia, and never more so than in December, when Lydia told stories about the backroom bar at The Standard Sunset and Allison tried to figure out how to dress up the details of a long-term, long-distance relationship and life at a state school so enormous she still hasn’t really figured out how to navigate it even now, a semester and a half in. 

So she didn’t understand it when Lydia invited her down to spend her spring break here; she expected to spend the week being miserable at cool clubs, subsisting on green juice and vodka sodas and watching a bunch of dumb jocks dance attendance on Queen Lydia. Instead it’s been— fun, and easy: Lydia blocks off four hours every single day to study and work, during which time Allison reads or walks or goes for a run, and then they just do— whatever, really, whatever they want. They’ve hiked Runyon and gotten stoned on the Venice boardwalk, gone shopping in Beverly Hills and Echo Park, where Lydia consented to actually buy a vintage item of clothing. Allison considers it a triumph of three and a half years of friendship, and an impressive personal accomplishment. 

It took Allison the first three days, pretty much, before it occurred to her that the reason they weren’t hanging out with Lydia’s friends was because she didn’t have friends, not really. It was like in high school— everyone seemed to know her and no one seemed to like her, and she seemed like she was trying very hard not to mind. 

And that was one thing, when it was just prickly teenage bullshit, a huge wall of sass thrown up against everyone and everything because she was pretty and smart and insecure, but now Lydia’s battle-hardened, wary in a way that scares Allison a little bit, sometimes. So it’s nice to see her out in the world, in a big sunny room. Allison almost hopes that the teacher will say dumb new age-y stuff about loving yourself and finding peace, letting go of the past, finding a way to move forward. Maybe that’s what they’ll talk about, after, whether it’s stupid, whether they believe it, what they believe in, after all. 

  1. totallylosemymarbles reblogged this from imagreatbowler
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  6. keepingtrackoflosttime said: the reason they weren’t hanging out with Lydia’s friends was because she didn’t have friends, not really = yes this oh lydia
  7. connaissais said: This makes me want to start yoga that much more. I used to do gymnastics, dismissed yoga as too slow, then all the people I knew from the gym started extolling it and its glories. How did you/does one get into it and is LA REALLY that yoga-crazy?
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