Reclaiming

This is a piece I conducted with three peers that further explores the theme of touch. To begin this piece, I take a shot of tequila that simulates the condition I was in the night I was sexually assaulted. To oppose this condition and abrasive form of touch I engage with the person in front of me by connecting with him/her in different ways that I have been intimately touched.

The piece starts here:

I am standing.

I take a shot of tequila because that is what I drank the night he touched me.

03 TakingShot2.Corey.jpg

01 Pouring.Cara.jpg

01 Pouring.Will.jpg

I offer you a shot of tequila. It is your choice to take it or not.

04 Shot.Corey.jpg

03 Shot.Cara.jpg

03 Contemplating.Will.jpg

I sit down in front of you.

06 Foot2.Corey.jpg

I ask you to place your foot on my lap because I have spent many nights in my youth rubbing my mother’s feet.

05 Foot2.Cara.jpg

I rub your foot.

05 Foot.Will.jpg

I gently stroke your shin because I have sat in front of a lover as he has done the same.

06 Foot2.Corey (1).jpg

I playfully squeeze your lower thigh, right above the knee, just like my dad used to when I was little.

07 Hands3.Cara.jpg

I ask to hold your hands in mine because I have held the hands of many people that I love.

08 Hands2.Will.jpg

I ask to kiss you because my own upbringing and culture have taught me that a kiss is one of the most intimate ways of physically engaging with another person.

11 MayI.Corey.jpg

I ask to kiss you because my lips have never touched that man’s, and this is different.

09 Kiss.Cara.jpg

I ask to hug you and plan to do so for a long time.

09 Ask.Will.jpg

I hug you for twenty seconds because a hug releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, into the bloodstream after an extended period of time, and I want you to trust me.

10 Hug.Cara.jpg

10 Kiss.Will.jpg

13 Hug.Corey.jpg

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