There’s been moments these past few lockdown-y months that I’ve had short episodes of extreme selfpity. To be expected, surely, and probably not a surprise to anyone. We all have these, in our lives, no matter how hard we try to hide and deny them – but I’ve never really believed in avoiding the hard topics (as you will have probably noticed).
But yeah, there’s been moments where I may or may not have sat curled up in a corner, rocking back and forth while hugging a pillow and softly chanting Akon’s ‘Looooonely…..I’m so lonely…..’. Ok, truthfully, that mostly represents how I’m feeling inside, the actually rocking and chanting isn’t really a thing. But the feeling’s there none the less. And that feeling: sucks. Also not too surprising.
The thing is – I miss touch.
Genuinely. I miss the physical kind of (skin to skin) contact that is so vitally key (I’ve only recently started to really comprehend) to actually feeling alive and not alone in the world. To make sense of the universe around us. I’m not even speaking about touch of a sexual nature, not at all. The skinhunger I mentioned in an earlier writing (Damn ‘rona) has been getting increasingly worse as time inevitably keeps on passing. And without it being satisfied, I feel like it’s getting harder and harder to ignore it. I kind of feel like Will Smith in I am Legend (or Princess in the Walking Dead). Because god – I miss touch and might be going slightly insane for the lack of it. (even more so than usual)
I’ve always been a very PDA-heavy person. Which is somewhat strange, because I can tolerate very little people in my personal bubble (hugs from acquaintances -or worse: strangers- are a total hard limit!). However, the rare ones that ARE granted access to that invisible space – will be experiencing a lot of (casual) touching. Again, not of a sexual nature.
But just like this blind puppy, I like to make sure people are in the room with me, if that makes sense. Which means that I’ll always drop a hand on a shoulder in passing (if I like ya). Or just brush past a lower back. Or high five you enthusiastically on my way to the kitchen. Or initiate a random pillow fight. Or. Or. Or. There’s a million ways to generate one of those reassuring touches. The kind that makes you undeniably certain of another physical presence. The kind that grounds you to this world.
Similarly – I’ll sit on the couch watching a series and make sure the very outside of my hand is touching skin of the person next to me. Or I’ll lean my shoulder against theirs. I’ll sit cross-legged and have my knee perched against the person next to me. Just barely touching. But grounded, none the less. Actually – my favorite way to watch a series is sitting on the floor with my back against the couch, and someone sitting ON the couch so I can rest my cheek against their knees. Just sitting. I miss that.
Plus…I painfully painfully badly miss those moments where you’re in the kitchen with an actual partner. Where you walk by them cutting onions or stirring a pot and you just slip your hands around their waist and nuzzle their neck from behind. Or those joyful bouncy pounces where you launch yourself into their arms. Miss the moments where you might be sleeping in a bed together in the midst of summer with it being too hot for actual proximity and you just hook your pinky in theirs so you’re at least still touching while hogging your own side of the mattress. And the evil moments where they’ll be unsuspectingly brushing their teeth and you just decided that shoulder looks too good not to NOM. Unexpected chomps are the best show of affection.
Sometimes I swear I’m experiencing phantom touches lately. Moments where I swear I can feel one of those touches on my skin, without there being anyone there. As if my body is remembering what life was once like. Not in a scary ghostly sort of way but just in a goosebump-inducing-core-memory-rolling-over-you-sense. Plus. Don’t even get me started about sex. Gawd. I would totally trade my left foot for some hubbahubba right now.
But even with a vaccine looming in the not-too-far future – it is bound to take a whole lotta time still before we return to somewhat-normal. And even then I wonder if and how ‘casual’ touching is going to return to our lives. I can’t see us going back to handshakes or the customary three kisses in greetings. Or to affectionate goodbye hugs. I don’t see us carelessly jumping on the lap of a close friend when the entire couch is full at a busy party or cozying up to someone on the backseat while on the way to a softball match. There’s a distance that’s creeped its way into our lives already that I’m not sure we’re going to be able to lose again.
But I’m fucking hoping we will. Because I don’t wanna spend the rest of my live out of touch with the world.