t h e i n t i m a t e s t r a n g e r


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Circa February 2008:

That first touch…. the mild shock of sun-scorched skin pressing in on the moment; palm to palm (not so holy afterall — not with one such as he); knees slowly caressing bare skin (under the table, away from oblivious eyes); arms entwined as bodies moved as one (fire, walk with me); skin on skin (his on mine).

“So, do you know what you want in your other half?”

“Maturity, conversation,” The Comic said, without hesitation. “And physical compatibility.”

Ah. But of course.

I can’t remember my own response to that question, but I do remember not being very sure what I wanted then. (No surprise there.) Or at least, the words did not come from my heart.

How things have changed since then — the flood of words when another asked me just a month ago; words that I barely thought about before letting them fly; words that made him laugh at some point.


* * * * *


I’ve never been one to touch another person. (Though I’m a frequent dog and cat molester. Heh. Heh.)

It’s simply not in my nature to, I think. Though on rare, very rare, occasions, I’ve been known to accept or proffer a hug. I remember those moments — when emotions had the upper hand (ha-ha) and I just went with the flow.

I don’t generally like being touched either, though I’m fine with (or tolerate) accidental brushes and unintended physical contact — again, this is generally speaking. One of my pet peeves with the latter is strangers (always the women; with men, it’s not a peeve — it’s a potential assault case, that is, the writer goes into Xena mode) who literally rest their breasts or tummies on my back while waiting in queues. (Tell me you haven’t experienced one of those!)

This is why I rarely go for massages. I don’t care how cheap it is in Bangkok or wherever. I can’t bear being touched by the ‘wrong’ hands, in particular, hands that feel and move like mush — mindless mush.

This is not to say that I don’t like being touched. I do, very much actually — but because I’m sensitive to touch, it matters a lot what and who is touching me.

The two women I go to for my facials have good hands, and I often drift off to sleep during the sessions. Not coincidentally, I like them as people too. When I was deciding on the tattoo artist who did my second, it was very much about the comfort level. And he does have a very light touch. So, though he was a relative newbie when I went to him, I took a leap of faith. I’ve been following his work since then, and in the last couple of years, he’s produced some pretty amazing stuff :-)

Come to think of it, I’ve never thought very much of the Ex-Communicated’s hands. I didn’t not like them; I certainly liked having him hold my hands though that’s more to do with emotional attachment. But I never thought they were particularly, well, interesting. Oh well.

Have you ever observed doctors’ hands? I like looking at them, very much. I won’t venture so far as to say they have ‘kind’ hands but doctors’ hands do move differently — deliberate, confident, graceful, almost as if they have a mind of their own and are not mere appendages. (Ehhh, is this going to raise hackles again? Heh.)


* * * * *


I had proffered access to a document on my iPhone as he seemed particularly curious about an itinerary that I had trusted my travel buddy to plan almost entirely. (And really because he had also shared something personal on his iPhone earlier.)

He slid his fingers under my phone, touching mine — just barely, lingering for a while longer, before taking the phone.

Later, as I held up his work document with both hands and pointed out a grammatical error, I remembered my surprise when he slipped a hand effortlessly under my right forearm, and traced the sentence in question.


* * * * *



I do like touching babies’ hands.

There’s something about the slightly curled up fingers and softness that is so inviting…. like a pale budding bloom…. untouched by life as yet.

Babies’ hands are the promises of tomorrows and new beginnings.

Hope — we could all do with a little more of that.


Written by The Intimate Stranger

April 1st, 2011 at 3:42 am

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