The itch intensifies - I scratch myself out of my own skin, yearning to inhabit foreign flesh.
It started as an experiment with my body's own limits, testing its capacity for the intimacy that so naturally accompanies inhibition. Exhales loosening muscles as the body surrenders to its own rhythm. It was less an act of giving than it was a passive decision to let go. I ached to explore the boundaries of this body. Teasing its rigid confines of emotion and intimacy, of too much and surrender.
It was an expedition flawed by design - its potential stunted before it even began by boundaries both physical and emotional - lines, while unspoken, that dared not be crossed.
And so I let myself go. Carefully. With reckless abandon.
Her premise stuns me with its simplicity; "You are not the same person you were then." I've outgrown these boundaries, my flesh marked with indentations of their burden.
Accepting my body is a daily task. I'd like to lie and say it becomes easier each day, but I don't want to belittle the work I've done - the work I continue to do. Each day is difficult, some days moreso than the day that preceded it. Yet my body craves repetition - I am a creature of habit and rigidity - so I forge along, teaching myself ritual (if not authentic) self-love.
I am fascinated with this body that continues to sustain me. This body, which despite more than one and a half decades of abuse and neglect, did not give up. This body which endured, mercilessly refusing my persistent denial of its own physical presence.
I fought for independence from the body that defied me, punishing it for invading space it had been unauthorized to enter. Looking back - no longer with feelings of hostility, but instead with a tremendous and often burdensome sense of isolation - I am saddened by that girl. By her limits. By her steadfast belief in the fallacy that contentedness can be measured objectively.
This girl was afraid of her own existence, by her gravitational connection to something more. She is still tentative around her own body, at dis-ease with the stranger she calls her reflection. Arms crossed, palms to elbows, shoulders slumped. Hands dart frantically from clavicle to breastbone. Ashamed of the ther-eness of her flesh, afraid of her biological power to create and sustain life.
I was allured by the seemingly finite limits of our passion for each other. I did not have to fear the burden (of sex, of need, of loneliness) because it was never his burden to bear. Each breath filled with trepidation, I dared myself to climb the ladder down, hand and foot and heart descending rung by rung.
Sex was safe - submission to a biological need. Making love terrified me. It was too much. The intimacy of two bodies, vulnerable, intertwined. There.