Have you read Love All The Way yet? It’s my new, longform essay over on Medium Its super sexy and romantic and very international and I think you’ll like it!
It’s all about me and Mau and the photoshoots we did to recreate classic romantic movie scenes. The objective was to recreate the emotional tone and visual elements of each scene but with my chair as visible as possible.
In the video in this link, we are setting up for Casablanca after we shot Rear Window and I am between pants (the photos we shot are in the essay).
So much about romance is body language. Choreography. Gestures and movements that express desire, passion, affection, tenderness. A wheelchair adds a new layer of vocabulary to romance. A vocabulary, I have always been told, no one would ever learn, that it was a lesser, ungainly, unappealing expression of love. And since the movies and media fail to articulate disability and desire, the collective imagination is dim. But I speak wheelchair fluently, and I appreciate it’s flowing verbs, the ways Intimacy shows in how Mau knows the exact right place to pull and the exact right force to use, so i come toward him gently and tuck in against his bent knee. He doesn’t wait for me to be out of my chair to get close to me. He pulls me in, he strokes the rims of my wheels with the same tenderness he uses to stroke me.
photo by Diego Moncayo
I love this foto of me and Mau. It’s an outtake from our first photo shoot with Diego and has nothing to do with any movies. It’s sexy and captures the intensity of the moments before our first kiss. (yup! before!). But my favorite part is his hand on my leg. I love how he touches my legs. I can’t feel his entire hand. A dull sense of the pads of his fingertips on the back of my knee. His grip in the way he is pulling me/stabilizing me gently - but not until the tug reaches my hips. His thumb is the only thing I feel clearly.
Despite being paralyzed, he touches my legs like he touches my wheels, like I can feel it all, because they’re part of me. Which is a wonderful way to be touched. Not as body parts, but as a being.
I write so much about my legs in my mini digital memoir Love All The Way it’s like they’re a distinct character. And in a way, to me, they are. If you’d like to read more about me and Mau and my legs, head over to Medium and check out our story.
Here is a short excerpt from one of the sexy scenes:
His touch blinks off and on across my hips and thighs like fireflies flashing for their mates in a spread of dark grass. My body is a meadow and his touch is a million fireflies. Paralysis takes away feeling, but it doesn’t take away significance. When I can’t feel him touching me, I feel him with me. Atmospheric contact. An ether of want.