To find pleasure. To seek touch. I think about all the ways I learned to live again. A haptic journey. A love letter. A care package. A glimpse. A look. I remember how deprived I was and didn’t know until some point in April 2020, I asked if I could hug his ankles. Jenna sent roses. Ica sent mangoes. Kyle made pasta. Arvy sent a care package full of yarrow. Rosemary sent a self-care worksheet you can read below. Sable sent a juniper spirit and birds of paradise. Dimples. Videos. Memes. Pictures. Anything that might make us laugh or feel.
I told Ica a few nights ago I cried so hard I almost threw up. She reminded me of last spring by saying “remember last year when the tears wouldn’t come?” For months, I talked about how I just wished I could cry. I felt so lonely, so anxious, so tired, so unable to rest. Pushed to be productive, so impossible. Pull. Pull. Pull. The only warmth I felt was the sun on my feet. I lost family members. I lost touch. I’m still losing family. But in all of the losing, there’s been so much care and love and collaboration and kinship. Digital heirlooms. Zoom game nights. Postcards. Pinching nipples. Wooden spoons.
Elle made links for us to listen to albums in their entirety: Minnie Riperton, Maxwell, one more I’m forgetting. Jessie & Auston gave me their apartment for a month as I transitioned from a 6 year home to the next place to my current home, my current life that feels so full and lush and warm and romantic and safe. Toni brought gifts to our first encounter. Alex & Kenya became friends who supported me in recording oral histories — conversations you can hear here. We’ve only met once and now they live in a place that used to be my home. I met Caroline 5 years ago at a Cafe Erzuile backyard birthday bashment. Lizette wrote every single line of code. Angel & Shira sat 8 feet from us at Auston’s 50th in Prospect Park. We waved and stared at each other with so much love. We shouted. We wore party hats. I got tangled between my mask, my hat, my glasses, and my hoops. It’s still not over. I wear a scent by Tatiana nearly every day.
Now, at home, I’m loved in the fullest way.
A life. A life. A life. Now. An emergent archive. A Pur·suit. Desire. Longing. Sensory. A living, breathing. Transitions. You’re moving plenty fast. I’ll let you know when I see blood. It’s still not over. A haptic journey. A love letter. A care package. A glimpse. Pull, pull, pull. Handmade pasta with brown butter and sage. Digital heirlooms. Zoom game nights. Postcards. Pinching nipples. Dried Mangoes. Wooden spoons. Remember when the tears wouldn’t come. A surprise bouquet with birds of paradise. Juniper & gold. To find pleasure. To seek touch. All the ways I learned to live again.
Special thanks to
Caroline Washington, Art Direction and Design
Lizette Ayala, UX Design
Portraits and Interviews
Angel Nafis & Shira Erlichman
Ericka Hart & Ebony P. Donnley
Jessie Levandov & Auston Bjorkman
Kenya Denise & Alexandra DiPalma
Kiyanna Stewart & Jannah Handy
Rahel Neirene & Tatiana Godoy Betancur
Texts, Offerings, & Herbal Support
Rin Kim Ni
"Pistachio" with Angel & Shira
"Hood Shaman" with Kenya & Alexandra
"Tickle" with Kiyanna & Jannah
"Sensuality Map" with Jesse & Auston
"Sacral Hold" with Rahel & Tatiana
"It Blooms" with Ericka & Ebony
++ A Love Letter ++ by Rin Kim
a cento for contact sub rosa by Ica
Self-Love Tip for Remote Working, Rosemary Reyes