You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
– Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb –
I wonder, when they wrote that song, if Gilmour and Waters ever could have imagined how applicable it would be to two-thousand-teens technology.
The photo above was cropped from a screenshot my partner sent me to show me what he was seeing during one of our video calls. Quite often, due to system glitches, wifi issues or network overload, there is a delay on the line. I’m fairly good at lip-reading, but when there’s a full-on cutout – smeared pixels showing with all the clarity of visual crackle – messages quite often come through skewed or otherwise get missed entirely.
Him: Hello, you.
Pause, during which the audio cuts out and the blurry visual is being interpreted
Hmmm… I think he said I love you.
Me: I love you too.
Sometimes – as above – it’s something silly or easily-overlook-able, something that can be turned into a humorous ‘Us’-ism or laughed about later.
Other times, it is a complete clusterfuck.
Technology is greeeaaaaattt…
(said with sarcastic emphasis)
…when it works.
But that is a diatribe for another day.
Well, right now I feel very much like that picture. Not-quite-disconnected, moment by moment coming in and out of focus, nowhere near crystal clear but not without flashes of dolorous un-distortion.
Stress and grief and the overwhelming complexities of managing medical care – balancing What’s Owed without exacting too steep a toll on my body and my relationships – have left me in a strange stasis.
I am a stranger in my own body.
Feelings float beneath the surface of my skin like late-night three-channel shckschk-ing static on an old fashioned television. (Rabbit ears optional.) It is a dissonance I find myself unable to dissociate from, and at times the disharmonious non-emotions feel benignly antagonistic.
Trying to touch myself (yes, like that), while feeling out-of-touch with myself is an exercise in awkwardness.
When I was a child I had a fever, sings David Gilmour, My hands felt just like two balloons…
And I think to myself, Yes.
Yes, that is *exactly* what it feels like in this not-quite-tuned-in antique radio squawl through which I try – and fail, spectacularly – to hear, and to heed, my own needs. My hands feel like two balloons, awkward and float-aired. Normally dextrous fingers, in their disconnected inflation, become inverted caricatures of themselves, unable to wiggle or press or swirl or penetrate.
Now I’ve got that feeling once again…
Once in a while, though, in moments calm and unguarded, I experience a sudden and crescendo-ing Mountain Dance of acute urgency, and I attend to the gnawing-ache clarion call of my cunt with swift focus.
This a.m., in the middle of my almost-back-to-sleep late morning lie-in, I came fast awake to a sudden slick between my thighs, wet heat glistening its drip onto the outer folds of my labia and searing its calefaction in viral waves across my nerve endings. My hands – so often uncoordinated and clumsy these days – moved, seemingly of their own accord, with unexpectedly-adroit precision toward my pleasure points, and my mind – of late so often spinning in static – cleared of everything but the desire to push pleasure through my system.
And push, I did.
I can’t explain, you would not understand…
I pushed myself.
Physically ~ with padded-finger firmness, stronger than I normally enjoy, my short nails digging their not-quite-scratch along the underside of my clit; with pinch-finger pulls in tight twist-demand, tugging my nipples in dry-rough mimicry of lovers’ mouths exacting their feed-me demands.
Mentally ~ pushing the edges of my own boundaries, memory an imagination wreaking stretch-me havoc on my clamped-tight contracting walls; knowing full well how full two of his fingers feel, turning their cross-jointed spiraling press deep inside me, I let my mind journey further. To three… Four…
Something ancient and primal drove me onward, fast and furious, to a high-cliff drop-edge of pleasure. And instead of carefully treading the sometimes-soft line of that steep bluff, drawing out the sensual delights of almost-there, I did something quite unlike myself…
This is not how I am
…and ran, full-out and recklessly headlong over the escarpment…
…into the sharply un-painful, shuddering intensity of release.
Three weeks ago, I would have told you I felt uncomfortably numb.
But sex is a peculiar restorative. And somehow, after the oddly renewing reclamation of not-quite-(my)self-love this morning, I’m seeing my picture – my big picture, forever altered no matter how I wish otherwise – more clearly through the static.