Cuddles are kind of the ultimate drug. I’ve usually gone out of the way to get them in a way I wouldn’t for other recreational substances. You could offer me a choice between a huge expensive meal, clothes, toys, a vacation week in the Bahamas alone, tickets to nightmare festival, etc…but if the other choice was vigorous cuddling I’d be unable to pretend that was a hard decision.
Even if it’s a hard decision.
Even if it costs me time and money to get to.
I’ll generally go for it.
The cuddling is what I think about when remembering past “loves” more than anything… I mean, sometimes I’ll muse about how excited I was when someone made space to let me talk more than usual, but since most listeners weren’t listening anyway, ultimately, it’s the actual sustained human contact, body to body, that holds the most sense of value, release, safety and intimacy for me.
That’s why I tend to doodle pictures of those moments over and over after they’ve passed. I just wanna stay in that moment, so I try to preserve it. Keep it fresh in my head by making my hand recreate it visually. Sometimes I just doodle past cuddles without anyone specific in mind but they aren’t as powerful. If I can inject memory of the connections into the art, that feels better.
And the illusion of safety, I inject into the act, then I can convince myself everything is ok because I’m being held. I convince myself so I can get the oxytocin release.
So I conjure up specifics.
That time I showed up to Whytestone tripping balls and having a giggle fit on the porch and KJ sat on the railing and told me to sit on the stool between his legs and ran his hands all through my hair and around my head and face.
That time I asked Mac to put his hand on the middle of my face and just keep it there because it was calming.
Those romps on the floor with Malcolm for hours. He was such a cuddly man. I loved that he was slightly shorter than me but not by much so we could get close together and practically form a tight little ball of limbs, literally rolling back and forth.
The friend of a friend who I barely know who’s willing to visit on Monday nights and let me cling and grind against him.
I convince myself that being held by anyone is “good enough” because it’s like an endangered species, a dying art, a nearly dead language. It’s lost much of it’s diversity and much of it’s meaning, but as long as I’m finding a little bit of contact with human contact, perhaps in a way I am helping preserve some small piece of it from the mass extinction that seems to be taking place.
That’s not true.
I don’t think men are capable of loving anymore.
I don’t think women are allowed to love anymore.
I don’t think people across the spectrum are free to love anymore.
I think we’re all just trying to remember how to get back in touch with the feeling.
A feeling now, like a trace of memory. It tickles and tugs, and we feel some kind of gravity about it, but we no longer understand how to do it.
Or we haven’t been raised with the skills to do it.
And learning it would take far more time and energy than our need to maintain housing and basic necessities can allow.
So we approximate.
Assign important positions to our sphere of influence with plug-in permissions to run short experiments.
Hope something sticks and jives and will just meld into, without too much disturbance, the pattern of living-dead, programmatic automation we’ve become used to.
Even if we don’t know how to nurture it so it grows.
Most people are content with just planting seeds in each other.
Even if nothing comes of it.
Still trying to come close enough to figure out what might.
Even though most won’t.
And knowing might be worse than not.