Monday, October 28, 2013

Touch

“I want to touch you.”

“And what does that mean?”

That was a good question. How could I explain what it meant? I could visualize, but I wasn't sure I could conceptualize or put into words what I meant. It was like the swirl of light and power that buzzed back and forth between us as we sat and talked, making us an isolated undisturbed spot in a room full of people.

“What does that mean?”

I don’t know, and I do know.

So long since I have had unfettered touching that wasn’t somehow mixed up in my exodus. The last two months have always felt like either the last bar or the coda, an extension added on, thinning it all out and stretching what little was left of myself across oceans of time and space and the accumulated loves, laughs and memories of twelve years.

There was no fresh start.

The linger of a hand in my hair for an instant was sometimes all I felt when I thought about it, at tug, a signal that pulled me apart to the core…or a hand in my hand, soft lips on my cheek and then the lingering afterglow of parting, all touches so final, all things so last…last, and then extended by memory, scent, smell, taste, the details filled in with a thousand remembered experiences.

All of it pulling me apart and between two places.

“I want to touch you.”

What did it mean? It meant I wanted to find some way to be grounded, to reconnect with myself, to make things new. To feel not lingering sadness, but lingering joy at being in the presence of others. To feel like I could trust someone to touch me without pulling away, flinching back with fear, with worry, with desire that could not be satisfied. How many times have I had to pull away over the last two months, not because I didn’t want to fall into those outstretched arms, but rather I was afraid to let go into them for fear of losing all sense of hope and the tenuous grip I had left…pulling away to spare myself pain while leaving a trail of disaster and destruction in my wake? My own. Others.

“What does that mean?”

In my mind I could picture exactly what I meant; the visuals were easier than words to express. Touching was being embraced in an envelope of warmth that encompasses without losing, where this was not destruction but building, where when I felt my muscles tense to flight I controlled them and allowed acquiescence instead, relax, let go…hands. Hands and fingers and skin brushing against skin, an exploration, a sharing. Pacing, always pacing, thinking, anticipating where to direct, a way to control the tension, while building energy. Movement. Scent, breathe in, sharing scent, knowing another, feeling safe with it, friend, pack, safety, trust…taste, lips parting and teeth gnashing, exposure, exposed necks, open hands, allowing something to come in.

To be whole again.

A touch that didn't hurt, that touched that sadness and set it free.

The back of my neck, the base of my spine, felt both the tension from my instinctual fear of all touch, and my regained control.

Awareness.

There could be new things.

Acceptance.

There are new places.

Curiosity.

Grounded.

I was not dead yet. I had not finished living. My life was not over. I had never been interested in going gently, not now, not yet.

“I think it is hard for me to explain what that means. But I want to touch you.”

Smiles, passive, active energy tossed about.

And then nothing but sensation, letting go, freedom.

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