What does it really mean to be intimate with someone? Is it sustainable? Is it even desirable? Can one person ever be enough, all, or are there aspects, parts, that it takes a whole group of people to love? What happens when you change? When you grow or shrink are you still loved? Are you still intimate? If your partner doesn’t truly love ALL of you, are you intimate then? Is it even possible for someone to love you that way, knowingly, consummately? If they did, what would that feel like? Would I still be me or would we melt so inseparably together that I’d lose my sense of self? Is that not incredibly frightening? At the same time, is it not the epitome of beauty, of love, of joy? Is it not, in the end, the whole point?
These are all questions that burn and weigh heavily for me. They feel like a precious diamond covered in sludge, acid, and poison. They fester in the back of my brain; sink in the pit of my stomach. I feel as though if I were to polish that gem I might uncover a piece of myself. A piece long buried, forgotten, sealed up and relegated to a secret, dusty room. A piece that contains a world of sensations, feelings, and experiences of which I can only recall the barest whisper. Very little of what I write isn’t influenced by my thoughts on intimacy in some way. It’s become something of an obsession I suppose.
Perhaps intimacy is something to run from, to turn on and flee, to scorn and illigitimize. If it doesn’t exist or has no real meaning then it can’t hurt not to find it. It would be infinitely better to ignore it and turn focus elsewhere. To run is freeing, but where to?
The evidence is damning. Intimacy is projected toward us from all around. Others have, and I have not. The green eyed monster rears its head, rending my heart. Of course, some of it is fake, a pale imitation of the real, glossed over with prettiness but having no depth. Nonetheless, I still believe some of it is real…very real. Worse, poignantly, everything I see suggests that intimacy begins with luck. A chance decision made in years past that led me here, or worse, away from here.
I see their faces, imagine the souls of lovers that might have been. Each one a road not taken, unseen, a universe I will never know. Perhaps a universe of intimacy, scorned.
Will fate guide me to that place where intimacy can be found? Fate, mother nature, whatever God you might subscribe to; is it not possible that they are capricious and cruel, callous and uncaring. That we aren’t predestined to find anything except barren emptiness and want. Starving, grasping in the desert, trying to fill that need. Even worse, what if my soul mate is out there in the darkness, starving, suffering the same as me, perhaps only inches away. Perhaps their suffering is my fault…and mine theirs. It’s a weighty and fraught thing, intimacy.
Perhaps it should be considered in less absolute terms. I can be intimate with you in gradations. I can love you to this depth, but no further. You are entrusted with these parts of me, but not the rest. Perhaps these change over time, growing and shrinking, swapping bits in and out. Give me time to study you, absorb all of your quirks, kinks, and facets. Let me decide which ones I am comfortable brushing against, reserve the rest for later. Far better, bear your soul to me, quickly, honestly. Let us succeed or fail as rapidly as possible. Push the pain of all those failures before aside and give me a good, hard look. Be vulnerable, let me see what you are hiding. Let me hold it in my arms, take its measure, and swallow it or cast it aside. I will return the favor. Expose myself completely. You can touch all of my great and horrible parts and make your decision. I will bear it all, let you fondle all of the whole and broken bits that comprise my soul. While you do that I will cringe. I will close my eyes and wait for the inevitable squishy thud that my heart makes when it lands on the floor. I will do this. I will bear the pain and the rejection because there is a chance that one day I might look up, uncringe, and find you staring teary eyed, wonder-struck, startled, back at me and we will know that we are finally home.