*Free with my body; free of my body.*
I’ve never been much of a hugger. Since I was a child the unspoken distance between my parents kept translating itself into a rule book for me. And before I knew it physical intimacy was vulnerability.
I often found myself too stiff in social gatherings, muscles too tense- a body always on guard. It was not my own to free but a belonging of those who beheld it. I couldn’t even echo an embrace.
But when she was leaving it was the warm month of July. “Too sticky to hug,” I remarked as an excuse to refuse her open arms. She looked at the ground with a smile of defeat.
I heard of her death some months later. I don’t know what she was battling but maybe at that moment if I had been free with my body, we could’ve been free of our bodies. Maybe her heartbeat against my chest would’ve told me. Her face flows through me like water, flooding all meaning. I sleep with my arms open now…..
My 20 year old.