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.
I offer you a shot of tequila. It is your choice to take it or not.
I sit down in front of you.
I ask you to place your foot on my lap because I have spent many nights in my youth rubbing my mother’s feet.
I rub your foot.
I gently stroke your shin because I have sat in front of a lover as he has done the same.
I playfully squeeze your lower thigh, right above the knee, just like my dad used to when I was little.
I ask to hold your hands in mine because I have held the hands of many people that I love.
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.
I ask to kiss you because my lips have never touched that man’s, and this is different.
I ask to hug you and plan to do so for a long time.
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.