October 15, 1998
A *Touching* Journal Entry

I would kill for a neck rub tonight.

Actually, I would kill for a lot of stuff. For a ceiling that doesn't rain on me. For a tornado-proof umbrella. For Pizza Hut to accept personal checks again, especially on the night before payday, when "dinner" is a bowl of five-day-old potato soup.

But mostly, tonight, I would kill for someone to stand behind my computer chair and patiently knead the knots and kinks out of my neck and shoulders, and to listen without wincing while I bleat whinily about my long day at the knife factory, and to lovingly tell me to "just relax ... this might hurt a little bit."


Back in the "old days" -- the days before I left my mind and lost my family -- my son used to come up behind me every night, as I sat in front of the computer drunkenly ordering people about in the Baby Boomer Chat Room, and quietly begin massaging my neck. He was about eleven years old at the time. I never had to ask him to do this: he just did it. He never required a thank you: he knew how much it meant to me. It was a wordless act of tenderness and love, and it never failed to reduce me to a quivering blob of relaxed maternal goo.

I miss that.

I miss my kid. That goes without saying. I miss all three of my kids, with a slow dull ache that never ever subsides, no matter how busy or self-absorbed or sick or drunk or sober (30 days!) or healthy or anything I am.

But I also miss the pleasure of simple physical contact with other humans.

A pat on the shoulder. A hug. A fingertip under the chin. A kiss that tastes like Oreos. A hand to hold in the grocery store.

A neck rub after nine hours at a knife factory.

All the stuff you don't even realize you miss until you live without it for awhile.



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