In conversation recently, I’ve heard about a study that showed Americans are not touched enough. As a person who is in fact a “hugger”, I tend to believe this.
Often we all need our personal space. I wouldn’t want an unwanted individual breaking the minimum eighteen inches around me that I view as “my air”. However, for the people I love, I don’t want us to be farther than eighteen inches apart when conversing, sharing, or just being in each others presence.
Winter Fire, and its subsequent aftercare, have all included important hugs to me. Yes, hugs are important; don’t believe for a moment that they are not.
The first official day of the event, when everyone was checking into the hotel and gearing up for massive amounts of kinky fun, I was stressed. This event marked the first time where I was on staff, working for a con. My job included equal parts delight and worry. I was bombarded with these feelings on the first day, not ready for all the work that lay ahead.
But then, magically, as Murphy and I won the registration lottery (finding a moment when the line was a quarter of its usual length), my roommates arrived. I saw them from the balcony above, and my heart filled with joy.
I asked Murphy to hold my place, scurried over to the railing, and emphatically jumped and waved, grabbing their attention. They eventually walked up to the registration area, and I attacked my people with hugs.
I first latched onto to DeepEnd, who is tall and broad. I sunk my head into his chest, closed my eyes, and let the feeling of holding my friend, and my friend holding me, wash over and through me. I breathed out. I relaxed. I didn’t want to let go. In fact, as the registration line moved, he and I moved with it, dancing our way along.
After an almost-awkward-but-not-quite-because-we-are-friends amount of time, I turned to SkinnyBitch and attacked her. I held her tight. I soaked in the scent of her perfume. I rested my head on her shoulder. I relaxed more. Again, I danced my way down the line with them. I felt better.
Seeing them, hugging them, reminded me why I showed up to Winter Fire in the first place. I wanted to spend time with the people I care about. I did the work because I wanted to make the event better for them. Sometimes people need to be reminded what the struggle is for.
Days later, towards the end of my Winter Fire, I received another significant hug. It was part of a scene I had with Gray. It was comforting, forgiving, accepting, caring. It was what I needed for what we had just gone through in our play. And though I worried about tears and snot getting on his leathers, I didn’t worry about our friendship or our connection, which is most important to me.
On the last night of the event, I gave a friend a hug. They felt jarred and needed comfort. I would’ve held onto them longer, but it was just a few breaths in my arms that they required. I was happy to give them ease.
My final hug of note came from my Big Bro. I saw him last night before he had to venture back up north. I don’t know when I’ll see him again, but I’m sure our paths will cross soon. And I’m certain, no matter the time or distance, we will still be family.
Hugs are important folks. I hug when I greet and I hug in our parting. I hug because I feel happy. I hug because I feel sad. I hug when I need it, when others need it, or just because. I hug because I know my world will better afterwards, no matter the circumstance of the few seconds beforehand.
I hug. And you know what would be nice? If you hugged too.
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