Vignette

The Solemnity of the Moment

I read in some article that for maximum health you should hug and be hugged 14 times a day by someone you love. “Fourteen!” said Dylan, “That’s a lot of hugs.” Some days I am militant about the number. I’ll appear before Dylan in staunch position and block his passageway. “Fourteen,” I remind him. “Today we’ve not yet even had one! I am ready to receive my hug.” Dylan will concede but sometimes negligently. He’ll with open secrecy text behind my back and use the free hand to pat me in a distracted and casual attempt to reassure me that all is on track. I let the distraction hugs mostly slide and only once in a while critique the poorness of the show. When I am too soft on hug crime, Dylan will make moves prematurely to leave. I then stiffen my body up, set my face to a bold expression of maximum angst and declare, “THE HUG ISN’T OVER YET.” The door slam record scratch drama of my loud announcement snaps Dylan back into the solemnity of the moment. “Jesus,” he says, “You are a Hug Nazi.” “13 MORE TO GO,” I say in a voice like I always totally know the number without explicit counting. And so we hug. We never actually make it daily to 14 but we get some good ones in there. It’s a very nice time. Hugs. They matter.

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