In a perfect world, you could fuck people without giving them a piece of your heart. And every glittering kiss and every touch of flesh is another shard of heart you’ll never see again.
— from ‘Bitter Grounds’ / Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman.
Damn. I still can’t breathe when I think about that.
My generation (‘X’), the daughters of Modern Feminism, were told that casual sex and the ability to make love ‘like a man’ was possible.
Can we really touch each other without consequence?
In the spirit of sisterly solidarity, I gave it the old college try but I could never truly muster the ability to separate physical love from emotional.
Every touch means something to me.
A moment. A connection. A possibility.
Even something as seemingly insignificant as a handshake holds the potential to change my life.
Orthodox Jews and devout Muslims will not touch a woman other than their wife because the sharing of flesh is such a holy act.
I find myself deeply bound to the people I touch; even more so to the people who touch me.
A touch starts with a spark of contact; a white-hot tingle, a chilling flush. If it’s momentary, it can be a sudden quake that hatches a thousand chrysalises and if it lingers, a flood of giggles mix with a warm cup of the most delicious chocolate and I am suddenly safe, content, home.
Volumes are spoken in the silence of shared pressure, duration and intensity.
Someone’s touch transcends corporeal contact and cuts me deeper than I can comprehend.
When a touch is relinquished, I am left scarred by indelible fingerprints.
Sometimes, I’m afraid to touch people, in anticipation of the inevitable tattoo. I shy away, hesitant to take on a new mark.
I wonder if I’m running out of room.
And in turn, I wonder how much more I’m willing to give away. How many shards do I have left? If our heart is the strongest muscle in the body, how is it that it is so easily shattered?
Then again… from broken things, beauty is possible.