As a human body, I am somewhat organised, with seemingly discrete borders and boundaries. My skin gives the illusion of a hermetic seal that keeps my intricate plumbing mostly from view, this body appears to me as whole, separate, and organised. But my body of water also breaches the skin sac – regularly, imperceptibly, and also in periodic and demonstrative gushes. 

Astrida Neimanis, Bodies of Water 

I am a body of water, a contingent being in constant ebb and flow, part of a geological hydrocommons. I know this intellectually, but I cannot accept it emotionally. I am an autistic, agoraphobic hermit who is terrified of the world, and I have grown up under a neoliberal individualistic capitalism, which creates the myth that it is possible to participate in, and then withdraw from, systems of exchange at my own discretion. Which is a lie, after all, as interdependence is a fact rather than a choice. 

 

So, I am trying to learn to embrace liquidity. And I’ve been thinking: if I embrace myself as partially permeable and porous, rather than a discrete solid, what does it mean to interact with another body (of water)? And how would I have sex with the ocean? 

“The ocean,” she said, “is a big lez. I can tell.”

“But not one of history,” I said. 

“No,” she agreed. “Of space and time.” 

Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties