Friday, December 17, 2004


She followed me there, to that small spot between close and closer. We didn’t have to go far, then – just a lot of words, really, to say we hugged. More embraced than hugged, I suppose - hugging being something the experts do, and something neither of us has ever been good at. But we try, don’t we? For now, though, we’ll call it an embrace.

It’s like this that you find us, then, all maladroitly wrapped up in each other’s arms; an arm under when it’s supposed to be over, hips mashed awkwardly together at uncomfortable angles, each face trying to look at the other but the controlling shoulders to tense to allow this action to take place comfortably.

“You are an extraordinarily good hugger,” I lie, hoping to put a quick end to this absurd feat.

Instead, I’m pulled closer.

“I’ve never really understood that word – extraordinary. Two words, really, extra and ordinary. Doesn’t that mean I’m a particularly ordinary hugger?”

“No.” The word is almost squeezed out of me, and I’m thinking this might, in fact, be the never-ending embrace. “It comes from the Latin extraordinarius. From extra, meaning outside, and ordo, or ordin, meaning order. So, really, your hug is outside of order - or ordinary.

Tighter. I can no longer breathe.

You’re bored of this conversation, this embrace, and as you walk away I’m vowing never to do this again. This hugging, this embracing, this clasping, grasping, squeezing. This clinching.

Freer than you or I,
Snow flies beyond the glass-
She’s not letting go.

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