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.
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.