The Haptic Void
I feel it...do you?
It has been almost ten months since the pandemic began to alter us, kill us and fundamentally change the way we live our lives. Living in Southern California means we are in full lock down right now. A person is dying a COVID related death in Los Angeles every eight minutes...that is a staggering number. And the virus is mutating...FUCK!
I know why we are all not touching each other...there are a multitude of good reasons but I have to say I miss touching others and being touched. I haven’t really hugged my parents in ten months. My kids and I hug but less than we used to. I do not hug my friends now and have no contact with acquaintances...not even a fist bump.
All this lack of physical contact has left me feeling isolated, alone and craving something that, as a single person, is getting harder and harder to come by...contact with physicality.
I was walking the beach yesterday with my kids and the dog and I saw couples walking by, holding hands and I felt a longing...like someone on a diet would crave an ice cream cone. It was palatable the longing I felt for touch, contact or a loving embrace.
I feel like the longer this goes on the further I slip into a place that is more isolated and more withdrawn. My phone barely rings, text messages have dwindled and my social contact is satisfied (or not) by social media which is problematic in and of itself.
Thank God for recovery...I would be completely losing it if I didn’t have that...
Emotional contact is one thing and that has been severely truncated, but I am really missing physical contact today. As I write this, my cat is laying on my chest purring, and I am so grateful for the warmth, the touch and the feeling of closeness if only from a cat...
Today I am feeling a haptic void, a strong pull and desire for touch and contact. What I wouldn’t give to just snuggle on the couch with someone to watch a show. I am not even talking sexual here, just basic human contact (although sex would be nice...just saying).
I guess today I just needed to give voice to yet another way the pandemic has changed me, I was never that touchy feely of a person before, but now I find myself longing for it. Last night I dreamt and the whole of my dream was being at a party (a large party) and all I did throughout the entire dream was walk around the party and hug people. Then have lively conversation with each person I hugged. Weird...but as usual my subconscious is letting me know that I have a void.
I think of all the people who are alone right now. I have pets and kids to hug and make contact with...there are many who are completely shut off from others. I really feel for them today...and I am going to call anyone I know who is alone and reach out to them and at least try to substitute a verbal acknowledgement of the haptic void we are experiencing for actual physical contact.
I miss hugging. I miss touching people. I miss contact. I miss going out. I miss dating. I miss life before the virus. I feel like I have rolled pretty well with the ups and downs of the last ten months but today I just have to own that I miss contact, haptic sensation and touch. It isn’t fatal, like what could or might happen if I insisted upon violating the health directives, but it is affecting me and today it is bringing me down. I just have to say I miss physical contact...all of it.
I am sure I am not alone. The virus has made us all leery of touch, as that seems to be the most dangerous way to live today, in a world full of contact with others. And right now, I just have to say that I miss being jostled in a crowded bar, sitting too close to another table in a restaurant, hugging people as a greeting and a lot of other forms of contact that I won’t go into detail about here...
The life altering changes the virus has brought has left many holes in our societal fabric...today I am in the haptic void. I recognize that there are much worse voids, just owning that today, I really miss being able to touch and be touched...in person, live not just on my devices' touch screens...