Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Conference with Myself, Part Three: Hugging Heartbreak, Embracing Joy

“Even if you feel overcome with nihilistic thoughts, your body is still alive with an optimism of its own.  Join the thoughts of your body.” –Yoko Ono

            When I first started adventuring way back when, I decided to use cuddle parties as a benchmark for how far I’ve come in inhabiting my body and letting go of grief. The first one, way back in 2012, I spent crying over my struggling marriage and unexpressed bisexuality. The second one, I spent mostly on my own despite the puddle of people, enjoying all of the lovey vibes in a very surprising new self-contained way. This time, I dove all the way in, tapped into my body’s optimism as Yoko suggests, and was blessedly immersed in the easy, soft connections with and among my fellow lovey-dovey souls.

            Still, sadness did need to have its moment. As I lay curled up and relaxed in the afterglow of The Kind Ma’am’s sweet/hurty attention, the loss I’d been trying to deny for months crept in and I just ached for Mr. Makeout Music, for all of the November grief. Since one of my New Year’s resolutions is to ask for help when I need it, I asked the Cuddle Facilitator to disentangle herself from a beautiful-looking embrace so we could talk for a minute. (I’m not a monster, it’s part of her role. But I still feel bad for interrupting snuggles!)

            I told her the story, the story my friends and I are all sick of, and she had an idea: “Let’s try this. I’m going to hold you, and you’re going to just feel it all. Feel it as deeply as you can, and then we’ll see if you’re ready to go back to playing.”

            So she put her arms around me, and as she held me, her heart against mine felt like MM’s heart, from those twice-a-day hugs that I missed so much. The connection I still felt to him was keen and wrenching and real, and I loved it so much. (I still do, though thankfully it feels much less claustrophobic/painful now.)

            I almost cried, but didn’t. I thanked her mistily and went back to the party, joining a cuddle pile with a few nice strangers who’d seemed fun during consent practice.

            I was blissed out and petting the hip of a nice woman from Colorado when (Hooray!) The Professor appeared above me and asked if he could join us. I was spooned in behind the nice woman, and he spooned in behind me, a friendly wall of warmth. I asked if he would pull my hair (or he asked me, I don’t remember) and he was such the perfect balance of gentle and forceful that I whooshed down into subspace, for the first real time in years. The weightless, beatific feeling of being relieved from control, turns out I’d missed it so much. I feel like I’m using the word “blessed” too many times in this story, but it keeps being necessary.

            I asked if I could turn over to face him, and the resulting embrace was one of the most comforting places I’ve ever been. I’m trying superhard not to get carried away here, of course he’s maybe just really good at hugging, but the way he fit with me had a teensy bit of destiny to it.

            At cuddle parties, you’re supposed to look for specific permission every step of the way, and for every request he made, I gave an emphatic “Yes!” especially the “May I kiss you?’ part—the Professor is really, really good at kissing. Just like with the hair pulling, soft and urgent, emphatic and sweet. There’s nothing like being really just thoroughly kissed.

            “Will you put your leg between mine?” He asked and oh yes, I just wanted to find a cuddle party loophole and just give him permission to do every. Single. Thing.

            “May I put my hand of your chest?” He asked, and that meant heart, not boob, and yesyes, it’s time to go ahead and believe in Energy, because this guy has ALL OF IT.

While I was lying there in The Professor’s arms, Mr. Shiny Eyes crawled over and asked for a kiss and I was happy to give it. The three of us chatted until it was time for The Professor to go have a late supper with The Kind Ma’am. I kissed him goodbye and settled into a new cuddle configuration with Mr. Shiny Eyes and the interesting strangers.

Next: More cuddles, more kisses, and saying goodbye lying down.

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