Thursday, September 4, 2014

REMEMBERING TICKLING

I am ticklish, disconcertingly and literally so. There is a space under my armpits which is my most ticklish part. Even a feather touch there rouses in me uncontrollable mirth which, expended on reiterated ticklings, settles into a stertorous catching up of breath that is both exciting and exhausting.

The reason why tickling has returned to my life is because my partner hasdiscovered this weakness in me. And he exploits it fully. I don't attribute it to malice on his part but a rather jocular playfulness ,manifested physically. In bed, with a sort of casual propinquity he starts tickling and leave me with helpless laughter.

This recalls my parents tickling me too, an undeniable proclamation of love. And indeed there is something ingenuous about tickling ,a space for shared laughter and joyousness, a communal thrill, as it were. As a child many such moments did i face and my valedictory memory of them is now a reality with my partner's ministrations.

Another memory that stands out is when the tickling went too far. There is a knife edge between pleasure and pain and what began as innocent gameplaying often became, unbeknownst to my parents, a deep pain, uncontainable . The tears they mistook as those of joy were not only byproducts of unconstrained laughter or exhausted happiness but those of powerlessness where i lay completely at their mercy, to be tickled at will and tormented thus. The spectre of my disenfranchisement and provisional existence affected me profoundly.

As a child i was often assailed by a sense of a prelapsarian loss. What constituted this eden was undiscerned by me and all i got were certain intimations, sometimes sanguine, often murderous. The adult world was a mystery, a hieroglyph i wanted to decipher so i could navigate it on my own terms and not feel hopeless before . But, child as i was, such deracintion as the adult world suffused me with was inevitable. I was neither here nor there, in the interstices of the otherworld, without knowing what it was and this world, without knowing how to negotiate it. And ticking represented, in its simultaneously contradictory significations, an emblem of what i never knew or lost but experienced pleasurably and the trauma of what seemed to be to be a space of volitionless fulcrum in a threatening world.

With my partner it is different. He is prompted by sheer playfulness. Though sometimes i do wonder whether,in a spirit of masochism he is punishing me for something i don't know i did to him.

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