There I lay, naked, innocent and without guile. My body stretched languidly upon the soft covers that would lull me into a different world. But nakedness gives itself by degrees. The room and its fragrances, its colour and its ardour -- all this was only a prelude. Something conspired to disrobe me further, such that neither sinew nor muscle could resist. Succulent music played havoc with the orbit of my soul. Each tune was hypnotic, like so many lullabies melting away the crisp edges of my skin and kin of thought.
"How dare you!" my mind screamed, but to no avail,
Then there was that single shaft of golden light. Straight, bright and warm, it tickled alive what eddies of energy frolicked under the etched lines of my flesh.
The first smear of oil and the hand of the masseuse vanquished what resistance my will could muster. Each caress and the kneading of deft hands unhinged the armour to that ephemeral possession I called, "my body."
Soon, the firm hands opened the caverns of ageless laughter that echoed from decades past those beatific moments when my withered flesh was lithe and supple and easily wrestled with the goddesses of Play.
How hard to bare those visceral memories that now prance before me, mocking the long years of cerebral tyranny to which I forced my body to succumb. Little heed did I ever pay to the way of flesh and its wisdom. My childhood ended too soon.
I lay there dumb, watching my body swoon and swivel remembering its strength and turgid beauty.
Beyond the tired ribs the soothing hands soon found that cornerstone, the Cherokee whose voice sings my body as its song. My flesh flushed with warmth and something was pulled asunder. Was it a minute or an eternity when, receding from the clenches of my mind, my body took leave of me?
Standing there like a goddess rising from the foam of the sea, her light was brilliant and her rotund flesh dressed in all the shades of joy. Free of my demands, laws and control, I glimpsed my body as she really was. She was running, running afar.
She turned her radiant head to greet without missing a step of her stride into Time.
"Hail, Great Friend," My ancient body bade in haste.
I stared in disbelief, revolted by her joy that I could never call mine.
"Hail to you," I whispered, squinting my lipid eyes to see my corporeal sister whose true name I couldn't recall.
She waves and shouts my name with joy; it is joy everywhere that pours forth in dazzling rays from every pore in her fat, fecund body.
"How can you laugh?" I demanded, disregarding my manners. "There was pox, the busted leg, the bum thyroid, the endless ills and just the burden of years. You have no right to make light of time and weight of flesh. You're mocking me, friend!"
Her pace only quickened, as if my questions were the garble of a fool.
"You're my body," I reminded her angrily, "how dare you refuse my wretchedness!"
My words brought no response. My logic was futile. Something nostalgic then descended upon me. I didn't want to lose her. Indeed, she was my companion, lover, guardian, and mother. She is me, and yet, I know her not. I resorted, therefore, to my weakest weapon acceptance.
"Whither do you run, Great Friend?" I call out meekly, hoping to preserve the august moment.
The answer ricocheted off the sun, the moon and stars, burying itself in the tides of my heart before I could hardly comprehend it.
"Death!" she shouted gleefully, with arms wide open. "I'm running toward Death, Great Friend."
Something in me fell away that moment, finally free of a heavy stone that I'd dragged behind me with chains and vengeance. For the first time I saw things as they were and not as I wanted them to be.
My body, my Great Friend, was ahead of me, far ahead. She had her own vocation regardless of my thought. That vocation was as steadfast and as unquestionable as a mountain. Death was her finality, her purpose. She knew her way home -- even if I should forget.
Before I awoke I felt scents, music and the colour of faded flowers wreath themselves around my old bones. My body did not return to me as armour but a garland. As fresh as a morning rain, I was woven together with the ephemeral threads of the earth and the heavens running along side deer and comets.
I am running now, all of me, toward Death.
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