An Illusion of Intimacy
In this brief time of COVID made personal, I am banished to the second bedroom.
The bed is Asian and supremely comfortable if a bit difficult to get up from, given its modest elevation. In addition to pillows, it has two big bolsters that are covered with a soft and resilient fabric. The fabric is decorated with Japanese kanji. What do they mean?
If I place the bolsters between the bed and the wall, and in the night my palm or my forearm falls on one of them, I can convince myself that I am in touch with the living hip of a heretofore unknown slender and sleeping woman, one who radiates a certain warmth in her sleep. Hips, unlike rib cages for example, don't breathe, but I can even convince myself that the shallow breathing of her lungs reverberates at a remove in the hips, as does her qi, her spirit body.
And thus I am permitted a long and uninterrupted touch -- one that otherwise, at this time, no living creature but my dog might allow me.