Pandemic Journal 26/12/2020: Pleasure’s encore, a dream.

The dream was compensatory. In the dream, they could have been anyone. Anywhere.

He was sad, his life force deflated. He talked in halting words about the film he once made. His long-ago collaborator recently returned to the original to discover he could remake the film from a unique vantage point. Make it new again.

The discovery was simple. If you looked closely, out of the body of the main character a dark powder grew, sloughed off, eroded. The substance floated to the ground like cocoa. The collaborator learned the skin released this effortlessly. The effect? Sensual arousal.

The collaborator would call the substance a name that was evocative though unoriginal: “Life Force Activator.” It could be a plot devise in a tiny home garden show episode. Or a scene to develop character in a Marvel comic adventure series. But this wasn’t the story line.

Detail. Charles Bell, anatomy of the nervous system.

In the dream, the man leaned against the wall and then towards the dreamer as he explained the process at length. His brown and grey waist-long pandemic hair fell around his body shaking as he talked.

Then the man wept at the failure of it all. His failure. How he regretted he had not been the first to review and study his old film again. Now someone else was getting all the credit, he lamented. He cried. She consoled him with soft register of words about healing time and the benefits of aging.

She purred, “The Guardian says wine tastes so much better now. Scientifically speaking.”

While she spoke in whispers, his hands moved across her back, then her waist, buttocks, thighs. The touch of fingers. She shook.

He turned the body — her body? — around and around demonstrating this new life force. How it returned if you re-examined everything again.

Something shifted in the room.

She interjected sharply like the prim English professor who got away: “Re-reading is alway a good idea.”

When she awoke her body glowed. The night-long blueish gleam of the humidifier had done its job. Her cheeks were burnished with pink moist droplets.


The sweat of an elevated temperature?

A slight fever. Not COVID — but pleasure’s encore.

Charles Bell, on the nerves of the face, 1829

Begin. Again.

The motion of the fingers is especially necessary to the sense of touch. These bend, extend, or expand, moving in all directions like palpa, embracing the object and feeling it on all surfaces, sensible to its solidity’

Charles Bell

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