Skin

I miss skin.

Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely have skin, it is completely attached to my whole body, and all of that is awesome.

But nobody touches it.

I am currently single and my job does not afford much opportunity for physical contact, certainly nothing with skin. My mother and I kiss each other’s foreheads, and my step mom holds my face in her hands before she kisses me, and I appreciate all of that. I get obligatory impersonal handshakes from church people I don’t know well enough to hug. And even hugs, wonderful rare treat that they are in my life, work hand-to-back/shoulder/side, all of which are usually clothed.

Recently, a friend casually touched her finger to my bare arm and it STAYED with me. That touch became a moment bittersweet and fleeting: drops of water on withering tongue, healing salve to neglected SKIN.

Skin.

And it isn’t about sex.

Okay, sometimes it is definitely about sex. But mostly it’s about closeness.  The heart-fatiguing grind of disingenuous conversation and invisible boundaries – never broken by the rhythmic defibrillation of hand on hand comfort, fingertip exploration, leg wars and foot victories, security arm replacing security blanket, and soft-snore lullabies – if left unchecked, will surely be the death of me.

My heart will work too hard at pretending it is all. only. skin.

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