The Decision to Touch


I have come to believe that the human touch is special because it is not instinctive.  Rather, it can be controlled, reined in, despite all these passionate urges within.  These urges trick your mind into extending your finger toward another human being’s skin and exploring every inch of their tenderness.  But you know you can keep yourself from doing this.  Being able to distance yourself from the wild sensations afforded by the touch is one of the privileges of being human.

But when you actually do allow yourself to give in to your passions, you will find that the finger does not suffice.  You will need your palm, your two palms even for a wider coverage.  And soon after that, the palms just won’t cut it.  You will need your hands, your elbows, your arms, your entire body to draw another person in.  You will need your whole life to fully entwine with this other person’s.  From the innocent touch begins the intersection of two souls.

When you allow another person into your life, you become two parts of a whole, two lives working as one. And, yes, it is difficult because then, you are no longer just working for your own survival.  You are working with another to keep the two of you functioning, breathing, existing.

But, sometimes, the other soul just wouldn’t move anymore, and you will find yourself dragging another life form, now doubling your work.  And this life form, who once made you itch to just explore every bit of them, has become alien to you.  Suddenly, you don’t know this other person anymore.  And worse, you fail to identify yourself, too — who are you now apart from this mound of flesh that’s stuck to you like cancer?

But then again, that is not always the case.  Allowing another person into your life could also save you.  And there’s the added benefit of saving him/her, too.  You know how much loneliness, or simply being alone, can be lethal.  Being with another builds you up.  Yes, you may tear each other apart from time to time, but with the right person, you are able to see the weak spots, destroy those, and from the rubble, create something stronger and more wonderful.  Being with another makes you less blind of who you are and who you might become.  Sure, you have some idea of your identity.  But the eyes aren’t exactly designed to look inward.  And you have to remember that the mirror is a reflection, a distortion on polished sand, a manufactured you.  In contrast, seeing yourself in another person’s eyes gives you a better perspective.  And you can be the other person’s eyes, too.

Being with another simply just makes you whole.  You know deep within you that you are never really truly complete until you are willing to share a part of you with another–the man/woman of your dreams, your parents, your siblings, even your cat or dog, or even that lost tourist who asks for directions.  Everyday, you know that you have to give a part of yourself, maybe even just a finger to wipe away someone else’s tears.  Otherwise, you will be whole, yes, but alone, withering away and locked up in your own little world.

So I have come to believe that the human touch is special because it is made by choice, if not by faith.  It can be reasoned with, reasoned out, but it can also be easily set free.  Ultimately, it is a pathway toward another person’s life, a gesture that makes our relations deeper, more intimate, more meaningful.  The single touch that creates our intimate moments may very well be our human way of love.


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