The virginal

Sivota Bay, Lefkas. Tuesday 24 August 2021, afternoon

Spending time with my parents for the first time in nine months is comfortable, safe and relaxing in a childlike way. My mother pays for lunch, my father pays for dinner. When there are sounds outside the boat at night, my father goes up to check. When my shoulders start going red in the sun, my mother gives me sun cream. I’ve relinquished all responsibility, accountability, adultness and anxiety. I annoy them until they laugh by singing Kate Bush and old Swedish folk songs over and over. It’s bliss.

I can be childlike while still being treated as an adult. I don’t worry about sex appeal, fight to get a tan, I let the hairs on my legs grow. I don’t feel conscious about my body, other when I’m hungry, hot or tired. It is what it is, and it’s accepted both when it’s strong and when it’s weak. It’s nice that it’s neither desired, disgusted or discussed. I can just be, in some original Zarins state. Back to the roots. Or as my father would say, quoting the Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson song, back to the basics.

That’s how I feel virginal. That’s how I feel connected to Artemis and Athena. The virgin warrior women who plotted and fought and won without losing their sense of self and origin.

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