What Is Freedom?

I have a confession: I am bound in chains and sometimes I like it. My flesh is tethered by bands of leather and holy boxes inscribed with the word of God. The numbness under the straps speaks to me of security, reminds me of an invisible, all powerful touch.

The truth is metaphor’s a nasty animal that rears its head and paws at the dirt and runs off chasing wild game the moment you think it’s majesty might actually be your own.

But the bigger truth is this: Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom, about what it means to be free, about liberation, and all the chains we carry.

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It’s the patch of fabric scratching a patch of skin that’s agonizing and incestuous but you can’t get enough.

It’s biting the side of your mouth with your back teeth, the sting of flesh splitting, the intrigue of electricity pulsing in your skin, the sweet discharge of ferrous blood onto your tongue.

It’s the first few breaths after orgasm, lungs empty, yearning, muscles locked in place and paralyzed, every inhalation aromatic and awe-some: you’re smelling oxygen for the very first time.

I’ve been in a mood lately, fostering new views, melding old ones: Creation is destruction, there is attraction in repulsion, beauty exists in the most ugly and painful things.

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In the Pen, Dance

There’s a certain sense of liberation that comes with the end of a relationship. It’s an odd feeling, since one would imagine there’d be no such sense after a break-up, but those who would imagine this are perhaps exceptions, or else have not had such a relationship before. I am not here to judge. Only to observe.

For all intents and purposes, my last relationship was perfect. He was everything I could want in a man, and he said I was equally as much as he could ask for. Even with nearly five thousand miles between us, we made it an impressive six months before things came to a halting end. That’s still about a hundred and eighty days longer than any of my in-person relationships have lasted. So where’s the irony in that?

What’s most curious for me is the general lack of sadness I feel. When I broke up with my first boyfriend (of two months, for those asking), I was devastated in my reserved way of feeling emotions. Yet, in all honesty, that was an end I had not foreseen, whereas this was an ending I had made peace with before it had happened.

Where’s the irony in that?

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