he. all. conscious. naked.

What does he need? Get naked. But not the shallow, swift nudity that precedes intercourse. It is from the nudity constructedto step by step, the nudity constructed in the encounter. He is afraid to be naked. How much courage does it take to face your own bedsores? His undressing is always transitory. From bed to bath, from there to closet. End.

Or from the sofa to the bed, whatever, in a fleeting encounter with another body that fears the depths of nudity as much as he does. They make a theater there. Pretend they are together, pretend intimacy, pretend, pretend. They say goodbye without having truly undressed. End.

And from this there is a cycle that repeats itself with different characters, but which is sustained by the same vice (through the surface?). Contentment is something you know for very short periods: the edge of a second of jouissance. End.

Suddenly, boredom takes over. How can you? he thinks, replaying in his head the amount of different things and people that blur his eyes every day. That's what they are: shapeless smudges. Gradually, he loses interest. He no longer pays attention to anything. Potential artworks line up like smudges alongside the actual smudges. Whatever.

The lights that come on are little more than trickles of low intensity: one idea here, another there. When they come, they look great. Bar, cinema, nightclub, beach. When they are gone, it was more of the same. It takes time for him to realize how much nudity is needed. Maybe he doesn't even know if he's ever been naked.

Until, on a day like any other, one of the smudges comes to life. It gains arms, legs, curves. She could rip his clothes off, but she prefers to play with the suggestion that he do it himself. She knows that undressing hurts when the shell is the kind that blends in with the skin. She stops in front of him like a mirror. She rescues from the depths of her soul the love and presence that she had promised to stop neglecting herself and anyone who crossed her path. She knows she's there to show him the wounds he doesn't see. It is the tacit agreement between them.

He takes it out piece by piece while she resists the temptation to tear them all up. They are layers and layers of winter, all disguised as summer. He feels cold, uncomfortable. But it radiates light and the less cloth, the more he feels the warmth that welcomes him on his skin. In some places on his body, however, it is this same heat that triggers the pain. It is through the heat that she finds and shows her wounds. No touching, no scratching, no tearing, no hurting.

He's naked at last. Two entire attendances, delivered. Fearing the power of the magic he doesn't know, he backs away as if he wants to get away for good, but the heat is already enveloping enough for him to put all the trust in the world in that instant. Confidence he barely remembered he had.

Gradually they come closer; touch each other; they let bodies and gazes intertwine. Being naked makes him finally able to reframe the vulnerability. Never before that moment had he felt so strong. The courage to expose the wounds, the courage to really feel them and then let the healing come. But not because heat alone is the cure itself, but because it boils up everything that was inside and needed to get out.

It's uncomfortable. One hundred degrees. More. He wonders what he's doing there. How long has it been since he undressed for her (for himself)? One second? One minute? One of each? Questioning takes the form of escape, so it returns. She already knows where it hurts and tends to her and his wounds instead of poking them with disdain. What a relief! Good!

Gradually, thoughts cease, fears go away. They just are. Experience the presence together. When the energy soars and the mission is accomplished, it, which had been a blur, gains wings. And it flies. Leave it to him to understand that every encounter is sacred. It. Whole. Conscious. Nu.

Written in June 2015.

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