The Fall Over My Edge Calls to Me, Yet Frightens Me.
I come so close to the edge, and then I pull back.
I retract my hand from the source of my heat, my passion, leaving me trembling and settling into a subtly sweet kind of ache. So close, but not far away, I am still present. I can do it again after several deep breaths. After calming my outside and patiently focusing on the rhythm of my breathing to conduct my insides to a softer melody.
A smile plays on my lips, as with tentative excitement my callback to everything that nearly came with crushing pressure, pulling me down deep like a forceful current, throwing me into a whirlpool of bliss until I release. Now I am screaming, or laughing, or holding on for dear life as I fall from the inside out.
That edge calls to me. The fall frightens me. The tension of holding myself back is as uncomfortable as any caged thing could conceive, and yet somehow that is where I tend to live. Not on the edge, which would sound so much more enticing, but in the heat of my own want. There I am choked by desire and summoned by guilt.
My mind’s eye sees me surrounded by a field of rotted missed-connections where everything I “should have” and “could have” died from asphyxiation. I muffled the sounds of “more” with things like food. I clenched and closed myself off from other people’s expectations and desires. I hid my laughter by biting the part of me that wanted to free it most. I called my “yeses” “no.”
Lately, I am my own lover. My safety is assured, my affection is always available, and my release is guaranteed. I can come to myself when I need to feel calm, or to fan my flames. I know that I am wanted, and that every which way that I fall into my own unknown is met with hands that know how to hold what’s happening. This is how I was made.
There is a greater knowing, even in the midst of so many surrounding unknowns. I am cutting myself off from the habit of short-circuiting my own bliss. I am standing at the edge and falling, and eager for the chance to do it all over again. When I find that I am still okay, still beautiful, still wanting, I call to the edge calling me.
The more I find falling doesn’t have to come from push or end in pain, the more I am inclined to let it happen. Practicing what it feels like to dip into my own desire and let all the awkward trembling and uncontrollable flow be not only acceptable, but celebrated, is clearing out everything I thought I knew about pleasure. It is teaching me that me, in all my fullness, is exactly what is wanted and needed.
It is becoming what I look for and expect. It is the end of edging toward nothing and the beginning of falling, laughing, clutching, screaming.
Erica Bauman currently resides in Cincinnati, OH and has recently gone back to school for her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her favorite places to visit in the city are Washington Park, OTR, Findlay Market, Smale Park and the Roebling Bridge. She revels in the opportunity to catch a game or live performance, whether that be an FCC game or a Riverbend concert. She is a proud student, volunteer, and supporter of the city’s own Improv Cincinnati. She believes deeply in the beauty and stories found in the people and places she comes to know, that music makes everything better, and that laughter is truly the best medicine. She hopes to impact everyone that crosses her path in that they feel they are somehow better for having done so. She has been published with Societyletters.com, Iamleyahshanks.com, and Holl and Lane Magazine. You could contact Erica via Instagram.