Over the past couple of weeks I have been routinely asked if ‘I’m feeling better?’ or whether I’m ‘…through the worst of my depression?’. I’m not sure how I can answer this. There is often a pause… ‘...well you seem better anyway’. My response usually goes inarticulated. I suppose anything would feel better than crying every minute of every day and feeling like your heart got ripped out, chewed, and shat on.
I’m starting to get back to my new version of me. Next week I travel to Sydney to see Noam Chomsky, and begin a seven film run at the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF). Next week will be fun. I’m terrified of the week after though, because at that point last year was when I began my three week sojourn for independence, which failed. Those three weeks will be filled with anniversaries big and small. To top it all off, one of these is my 28th birthday, which I would like to forget completely. Thank god it falls on a Tuesday so people won’t pay much attention
All of these things I can manage with a minor freak out and a good loud, long cry. What I really miss is indefinable, hard to get, and even harder to ask for. I miss the touch of another human being. A few months back Carly talked about her experiences on the subject, given her rare skin condition. While I can relate to many of her experiences, I have a different problem. I feel the sensation of touch every day. People are literally paid to touch me every single day in a clinical, medical, hygienic and detached manner. This form of touch is as invasive as it is required, but it doesn’t solve my problem.
What I want and need badly is physical affection. While many readers would automatically assume this means I want sex, this isn’t necessarily what I’m after. Something as simple and basic as a hug is an arduous task. As with anything in my life this is not spontaneous. I actually have to ask for one. Whilst I do ask on occasion, it feels like an imposition for the other person because they are merely fulfilling an obligation.
This also limits my ability to casually flirt with members of the opposite sex. There’s no such thing as a casual movement or a light touch for a person with Cerebral Palsy. Imagine having to ask a hot girl ‘Can you come closer so I can accidentally brush your elbow?’ Even the famous reaching for the same bowl of popcorn doesn’t work, because one twitch in the wrong direction and the bucket goes flying. At least she would smell good.
Sometimes I am brave enough to ask, but I don’t always want to be the one who asks for what every human being essentially needs: to be loved and to be loved in return. Just occasionally I want someone to do that for me.