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25-Year-Old Virgin


Caught in a sort of half sleep, scrolling credits move across my back while swells of music creep around the walls. The composition screamed notes of crescendo with every name floating into frame. With eyes closed and shoulders still, the movie player clicks off. A gray buzz of an empty TV screen hums a soft tune until it too is snatched from the air. I feel a soft nudge on my shoulder. “Let her sleep,” she reasons. I sigh in gratitude since rising too fast often leads to bitterness. Friends tiptoe upstairs, dragging a silent blanket over my curves. Carpet rustles and wooden creaks take to their distancing footsteps. I am finally alone, resting in uninterrupted bliss.

There is strange comfort found sleeping in irregular places. Clean bedding not our own can color the mind of freedom and relaxed comfort. Carpet without our dust feels different and rejuvenating. This couch hugs me with hospitality. It is new enough to extend vibrancy without worry, yet used enough to feel like home. The darkness of the room feels like the open sky. I drift and drift in dreams. Thoughts of pure potential and new muscle fill my conscious, innocent thrills for life feeds vivid imagination. Freshman. Fourteen. I want to sing. I want to dance. I will play soccer and travel the world. Maybe I can take my friends with me, the same ones upstairs can come. Everyone knows that the glow up is important. With these types of thoughts I say goodbye to the open sky and everything fades to black. Happily.

A different strangeness approaches in the dark. The subtle switch between dream and reality begins to stir. Awareness of time and space wake my limbs and I remember the soft couch that ushered me into slumber. Rustles and creaks return with a fuller, heavier sound. Suddenly, like water on a shore, the spaces between my bones are alive and I do not know who knocks on my body’s door. My eyes blink open and my voice is hushed quickly. I drift. I don’t want to wake up, so I turn. But the presence is still there, and now it is moving.

He has a soft and low voice. One that I’m not accustomed to, but it is pleasant. He spoke again. I know. We met earlier, and it would be denial to say that he wasn’t interesting. He is a visiting student from down south. Loves his family but got kicked out of a couple of schools. His hands know where to go, and I have no choice but to greet the dark space above me with a different type of shake. The space is not of open sky and dreams anymore, but of plaster, paint, and sharp corners. This exchange could be logical. The latter is tangible and presently real. He whispers something else of little importance, but his energy feels like vacation. His warmth feels like a massage in a blue rooftop pool.

I push away and move to the floor. Thoughts slowly remind me who I am. I don’t even like swimming pools. Compared to the ocean they are chemically strong and often accompany wasteful tourism. He comes and waits. Edges closer. Stops. He doesn’t seem careless or impatient, though; he begins to feel good like the couch. After all, cousin approves and apparently he’s cool. I remember a bit of teaching and refuse to melt. I’m not made for couches, I think. Rich lines of fine mats and bottomless waves come with my name. But he rolls, and I let him. Another kind of wave.

This could be it. The moment children tease each other about and the experience adults convince themselves to be necessary. Fourteen. He moves again and I remember my place. Unlike many areas in life, this is clearly black and white. The pinks, blues, and purples flew before my eyes, but a curtain of courageous honesty showed their true tone. This is not right. The mysterious visitor from down south, with his strong eyes and perfect jokes, and arms that knew where to clutch, began to shrink into a tiny boy looking for another skateboard to coast. True. Poor boy does not know that he is handling royal goods. Tone. I push him aside until he disappears into the darkness. Gathering plaster and paint, he retreats to the stairs taking a vibe that I have already grown to miss. I do not leave my space. It is mine. My pulse slows and I regain my senses. This is a most powerful “no.” One of weight and patience, showing gold amongst sod. The sky opens again, and I am left to reason with mind, body, and soul. Full.

Ten years filled with comparable instances have passed, and I still applaud. Womanhood is not contingent on being filled by a man. Manhood is not contingent on being able to fill a woman. These are good, blessed, and beautiful but not determining of a person being whole. For the believer, Christ provides all. “You complete me” may stand as branded ideology of celebrated insecurities apart from God. Do not misunderstand, we are not robots; the wants, “needs,” and desires are all fully present, often serving as indicators to what is holy. Simultaneously—amongst these realities—is spirituality intertwined with bodily frames each of us inhabits. This is the melding of mind, body, and soul: experiencing full satisfaction in the purest of senses through a Giver of life that works through physical and invisible matter. Who said it was easy? Hands and hugs, limbs and squeezes invite so well, and we are to embrace one another. But premature awakenings are by definition too soon. Wait until we may rightfully awaken. Consider the dreams we’ll miss for trying to catch plaster.


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