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Forty-Ninth Sitting

"So why does it feel better when I do this?" You said as you touched My bare foot with Yours under two feet of 80[[ring]] water.

"That's exactly what I was talking about with all that existential crap about separateness. Whatever makes that feel good, that makes it feel good to just sit here knowing You're not going to drown Me, that We understand each other... if You take that to its logical extreme It's a push to get rid of Yourself as a separate entity.

"Hmmm..." You closed Your eyes and leaned Your weight against My shoulder. "I guess that makes sense." But You remember that, don't You, the night before I left, at the China (pronounced "Chee-nah") hot springs... moving from pool to hot tub to very hot tub located outside, alternately baking and freezing the skin. But none of it desensitized Me to Your touch, which I experienced so consistently and elaborately that evening.

"Ah, but that's not what you dream about, is it?"

Well... I don't usually remember my dreams... probably because I wake up and fall back asleep several times before actually getting up these days.

"I dreamt of you again. This time we were in the back of a pick-up truck and I was lying with my head on your lap until... my father, who was driving, looked back and gave me a very stern and disapproving look."

Pretty blatant. Hmmm... Maybe I'm just dealing with things about You more directly or something... what with writing You an eight page letter every other day, usually with a crappy sonnet in it. I remember dreaming about You more when things weren't so explicit.

"But you do remember some of your dreams now... You told me..."

Well... yes. But...

"You've got to talk about It."

Hey, look, your roommate's home; I guess We'll have to talk about it later.

Las Vegas pushed the door open and attempted to pull His key from the lock. This effort was largely unsuccessful, but after being verbally abused to its satisfaction, the key decided to comply. Las Vegas looked up to find two figures sitting at the kitchen table watching Him, one visibly relieved at something, the other sparklingly beautiful... but not His type, really. Besides, ya shouldn't hit on anyone you share a kitchen with. She might take it upon Herself to eat all Your cheese.

"How was Tibet?" She asked.

"Oh, it was great. We got to sleep in a hotel with these beds that... when you put a coin into `em, they vibrate! And I ate dinner with God's girlfriend... And... oh, the best part! There was this shop, and we went in it, and it said on a big sign outside `cards.'"

Oh, my. The Visitor spoke up: "Oh, Wise White Male, We were wondering something: Why does it feel better for Her when She touches Me with Her..."

Las Vegas cut Him off: "Because She wants Your bod, Obviously. But more importantly, what did You learn from those native dance-a-thons?" Las Vegas looked with profound expectancy to His two disciples.

"Um... that I can actually be bored enough to make honest and involved attempts to individually sense each drop of sweat on my body, however small?"

"That He can snake His arm around Me in very affectionate and familiar-looking ways without My noticing until after the fact?"

"I mean besides that. What I'm asking is... well, were the dancers doing it right?"

"Huh?" the Visitor intoned. "Looked fine to Me. Besides, they said that if anyone screwed up they had to add on this propitiatory dance to the gods... which I guess they might have done, for all I know."

"No, no, no... Was that the correct way to deal with one's Crud?"

"Oh... more of that. Well, no... You take this one, Love."

She smiled. "It all depends on the individual. There was one youngish guy, for instance, who chanted mostly, who was doing really strange things to himself. You could tell by his expression that he was trying to adopt a deeper voice, a more cliché "tribal" demeanor, than was in any way natural for him. I'm tempted to say that he didn't realize exactly how weird he was being, which means he was probably less exploring parts of himself, trying on masks to see how they fit, as turning back to participate in something that he still unquestioningly believed to be a central good and appropriate thing to do, despite the fact that the rest of his apparently typical American upbringing left him pretty removed from it, to the point of having little more than a literal understanding of the texts, the dances, the ceremonies, and the myths they revolved around."

"He was the chief's son, right?" Las Vegas prompted.

"Right. The chief guy was much more natural with it, and smiling. I got the feeling that even though he had a very deep and thorough reverence for what he was doing, he somehow had more of a clue... He understood more what it was about, and so what he was about."

"So it's not bad that he had a `deep and thorough reverence?' You don't think He should have said `fuck that' more often about his culture?"

"Well, it's hard to say... it's such a delicate line to walk. I mean, if Mark here is going to love me, it better be deep and thorough -- I'm terribly jealous -- but it shouldn't be obsessive; He should still be a whole person without me. My mother has this saying: `Love is not two halves coming together to make a whole; it's two wholes coming together to make a relationship.' And, well, the chief... he seemed to have that sparkle in his eye. Health. He was well-fed first and foremost, just a guy sharing his `treasures.'"

"Wow. That was good," the Visitor said, squeezing Her arm.

All this I watch as it flows out of the pen which, though it sits in my hand, I have exerted no pressure upon. Better to let it decide what is best for it, and if it cares about me, then it will doubtless produce something which I may hold dear. But I, here in my mundane world of bulk foods and graduate school applications... I feel removed from these deliberations, for I am caught within myself, passing back through my open mouth to days when in a single evening I might wish upon a star for everlasting happiness with a girl who I barely spoke to and make a detailed list of terminology describing obnoxious people, e.g. an "asshole" is a mid-size heavy-set guy with a gruff voice, while a "shithead" is much bigger -- less talk, more pounding... This way I could insult people with precision. As Shaggy (see sitting fourteen) can tell you, everything seems bigger when you're smaller -- more important, more intense, scarier, longer.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]