Tuesday, November 28, 2017

SOL Tuesday: Is Physical Therapy Sex?

I have been seeing a physical therapist off and on for the past four years for a spinal stenosis that causes me pain in one of my legs. My therapist is a young man, well, maybe around 40, with lovely blue eyes.
            Mostly, I think he is very good. He explains what each exercise or stretch is for and in detail what each part of my body that’s involved should be doing, or not doing. Occasionally, he will do massage-like “manipulation” on a muscle or set of muscles.
            Every now and then, his work on my muscles takes a form that feels almost sexual. For instance, to work out my glutes, he had me on my back with my legs bent to my chest and my feet against his chest. He then used his own body as a weight to put pressure on my legs. It did indeed stretch the glutes. But it also felt like a position of sex.
            Don’t get me wrong. The door to the room we’re in is open, there’s zero chance that there this is anything actually sexually abusive going on. Of course, we are both fully clothed. In fact, ever since Jack died, I have missed enormously the feeling of another person’s body against mine. (I sometimes wonder whether I continue to go to physical therapy just for the touch of another person. A friend whose husband died suddenly some years ago confessed that she’d starting getting manicures and pedicures just for the touch of another person.)
            Yesterday, we did another one of those stretches, in which he used his body as a weight to stretch out my calf muscle. I usually close my eyes during these stretches because it’s easier to feel how my body is responding if I have no visual distraction. I wonder what he thinks as he uses his body to work on the body of an elderly person. Most of his other clients I’ve seen are elderly people like me. But I can’t ask him. I don’t want him to think I think there’s anything risque about what we’re doing. But in a corner of my mind, or is it my body, I think, physical therapy is sex.
It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SOLTuesday: Dreaming and Writing

I am part of a reading series called Big Words. (The audience at one gathering votes for the “big word” or phrase that will be the prompt for the next gathering.) This month’s Big Word is “Five More Minutes.”
            I thought I had an idea, and a week before the reading (which is tonight), I started writing. But it just wasn’t coming out right. One of those ideas that sounds good in theory, but maybe I just don’t have the skill to make it be what I wanted it to be. What to do?
            A couple of nights later I was having a hard time sleeping: lying awake, dozing for a while, snapping awake again. In one of those snap phases, I had the image of a young man named Charles Fletcher, who lives in the 1950s in one of those classic red-brick apartment buildings in Queens, New York, and has a mild crush on an older woman who lives in his building, who has three children. Hmmm, what could I do with that?
            The next day, I had a few hours between meeting friends. So I took my laptop to a nearby library, sat down, and wrote a story. Sent it to my writers’ group, who gave me excellent feedback (way too much setup; doesn’t really end), and yesterday did a revise.
            No time to send it back for more feedback. I will just take it out and run it past the audience tonight. I hope they like it.
            Should I post the final version here?