Friday, October 24, 2008

Taking and Sending

Crescent moon, high above the fog. Streetlights make spines of light that poke through the leaves.

A huge young woman, one buttock for each of the two seats she occupied, reading on the bus. She was swaddled in witchy velvet, a hooded cape. Black cloth bags were perched about her person. I was practicing taking and sending, trying to take on that mass, to take on the chafing of those bulky thighs against each other, the humiliation of being very fat in a country that has a hysterical aversion to fat. Knowing that any mistake I make will not be an ordinary person's mistake, the passing result of inattention, but evidence of a fat woman's expected stupidity; knowing that I'm a death's head to women who are desperately afraid of getting fat, knowing that many men won't risk their status by being seen with me. I breathe all that in. Breathe out -- what? That's easy: the certainty of being loved. The daily touch, the physical affirmation of work, family, friends; the easy cuddling. The laying on of hands. Give that all away.

As I feel the witchy cape settle around me, I notice all the shiny dangly things, the earings, the necklaces, gleaming and twinkling. Two buttons draw my gaze, jet disks, like little pools of wet black oil. What can they be? Is that a pouch, a purse, nestled there where her breasts jut over her belly?

The buttons blink. The pouch resolves into a tiny dog, staring intently at me. I slide into his consciousness easily, as you will sometimes, when you're taking and sending. I am made of nothing but devotion, loving this woman with my whole heart, perched on this belly, nestled by this breast, the best, most loving, most wonderful woman, a woman of extraordinary abilities and extraordinary tenderness, loving me beyond desert or imagining. Her fingers gently cradle my ribs. I adore her. I bask in her love.

The polarities reverse, and I'm breathing in the assurance of love I was trying to send. It's not at all uncommon, with taking and sending, to realize, when you allow yourself to slide all the way into your fantasy of other people's suffering, that you're simply, completely, stupidly wrong. I should have such daylong tenderness, such love, such pleasure in the touch of hand or paw.

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