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[personal profile] possumcowboy
Have you ever watched one of those shows on Discovery Channel where they're observing primates in the wild? There's a voice-over with a pretentious British or Australian accent, saying something like "Pasha moves closer to Geet-Geet, and starts grooming her fur, looking for irritating dust mites which can be irritating, like tiny dust mites that irritate..." You've seen them, I know.

Have you ever noticed, though, how nice it is to have someone scratch your back? Give you a back rub? Massage your feet? Wash your hair? I mean, you can help someone carry garbage out, and they'll really appreciate it, but nothing like the gratitude and enjoyment they'll get from you scratching their back. You've been there, I know. "Hey, c'mere, scratch my back...no, to the right...higher...AHHHhhh! Oh my GAWD that feels good! MMMM!" It's non-sexual touching but it just feels so good! And we crave it. And you can't just scratch one little spot, either; the rest of the back starts to get jealous and you'll end up scratching your nails down to the cuticle before they'll let you stop.

Leah's back itches. A lot. You'll notice that I have no fingernails, as well.

How is it, then, that we live in this supersonic age, and still crave physical contact? Maybe we aren't so far removed from the savannahs and forests as we think. We're surrounded by devices that are like what I used to call "something from the year 2000!" back about twenty-five years ago. Even in 2011, calling a device "like something from the year 2000!" just makes it sound as if it were from a fantastically distant future, to me. I have this iPhone that could change diapers if I gave it opposable thumbs. I can access any information in the world from the palm of my hand. It's way, WAY better than a Tri-Corder from The Original Series. In 1966, Gene Roddenberry had no idea that stuff like this would ever come about; it was still more than a quarter-century until that "year 2000" benchmark. Even with that, we still rub feet together in the sand at the beach. We still snuggle close on the couch, hold hands in the park, brush arms in the movie theater. Contact with each other still trumps technological wonders.

Have you ever washed your wife's hair, in the shower? If you haven't, all I can say is that it is an act of love and attention that is physical contact, grooming, and intimacy all wrapped up in a timeless moment of caring. To have someone relax their head into your hand while you massage their scalp is nothing short of amazing. There's always time for racy stuff later; the shampooing is a connection with our dusty distant ancestors, and a connection with a spouse, and a connection with the infinite in some way, I think.

If I may quote Forrest Gump, "And that's all I have to say about that!"

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