When people ask “How are you feeling?”, I wish they wanted this sort of answer.

When people ask “How are you feeling?”, I wish they wanted this sort of answer:

I have this…

Deep, rich, weeping.

Eyes tight, throat… Tingling down my back and a dry mouth.

I shiver though I don’t move.

A cold breeze passes through my head.

A cold breath, a dry mouth, a buzz across the back; a tight lower back, furrowed brow.

 

Wide, blubbery second chin.  Dry mouth, fast breath.

Stab right shoulder, under scapula.

Stab throbs.

Furrowed Brow.

Stab sinks.

I’ll test this sometime: dropping in and describing my felt sensations in real time.

 

I’ll test it 6 times in different contexts (because I’ll only get comfortable after the first few experiments).

Touch more: a manifesto

Starting at puberty, it becomes socially unacceptable to exchange touch with anyone but romantic partners. This is bad. Touch is calming. It’s connecting. It’s fundamental to proper growth and development. Touch should happen more. 

On a road trip with a friend, I hadn’t touched another person in a week. That’s a long fucking time. A week without touch is a cruel punishment that I wouldn’t subject on any animal. It’s not even a sexual thing – I just wanted physical contact. I asked if I could lie on my buddy’s lap. He said sure, so I did. Our conversation continued. I felt human. It was great.

Why does our society suppress touch? I understand the moratorium across gender and the requirements that touch be consensual. But why is it weird (or labeled “gay”) for guys hanging out to touch each other? We’re primates. Primates touch. Even gorillas – the biggest and strongest among us – pick nits out of each other’s fur.

I’m not sure why, but I don’t like it. I also can’t see a good reason against it, so I’m going to touch more.

When is it okay to avoid the world?

At 9:11am, the morning’s not-funniest time, I slipped 50mg of caffeine past the tape on my mouth before crawling back into the safety of my dreams. Another hour-and-a-quarter passed before my bunkmate awoke, only after which did I first leave my bed. How much of this time was spent avoiding the world?

I’m coming off a cold. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been sleeping so much. I’ve also been emotionally exhausted, overcoming a childhood trauma and rebuilding after a breakup.

My bed is warm. My bed feels safe. In it, the world feels far away. My mind moseys, wisting aimlessly from place to place. I like that safety. I like that oblivion. I live for that vacuum between conscious and gone.

On the 7th day, God rested. He didn’t just not-work; He rested.

Is a veg day the necessary calm after a storm? After 13 hours work yesterday, today was pizza and soda and staying up past 3. At the end of these days, I typically feel sad. Nobody gains when a person lets their life spiral away. I didn’t even read much, which I really should do more.

You needn’t spend every second moving toward what you want, but you can be and should be if you have the right aims. Retreating is sometimes the best way to advance. I wonder if that was the point of today.

On the 7th day, God rested. If God needs rest, I must too. These days must be okay. I feel less bad now, less regret.

I assisted a friend with her ten-year-old student. I helped a high school boy plan for his future. He liked an essay I wrote enough to share it with his class. I didn’t work–so what? I’m following my natural rhythm: Fits & starts, sprints & walks.

I’ve been having all sorts of wonderful experiences–futbol and tennis, befriending locals, helping kids. Today was a slow heart rate, no-work relaxed day. I opened a new book and began my next writing project.

I learned about myself. This is who I was. I can be someone else tomorrow. “Was” doesn’t mean “am.”