John Brier experiences platonic love through a hug, and happiness like he’s never felt, for the first time.
I felt a hug today.
It was unseasonably cold for an early November in the Southeastern United States. I was hopefully anticipating this moment with my friend Angela at the end of our lunch right before departing for my car. The hopeful feeling came out of nowhere, or so it seemed.
I had previously been chatting with Angela on Facebook about a mutual friend who was surprised to be referred to in an endearing way. We joked about him a bit and ended the topic with Angela saying something like, “you know I love Charles.”
Ah, yes, I do. Of course I do. I love him too. I love a lot of people, but I’m rarely open to feeling or expressing that love. I remember when Angela said she loved Charles, I wanted to express my love to Angela. I wanted to tell her I loved her.
At the end of our lunch, before parting, I knew I might get a chance to express my love, and not just over text on Facebook chat, but in person, with touch, with feeling, with voice, with heart; with a hug. I was so excited when her arms raised up and she said my name and I realized it was time to lean in across my emergency brake awkwardly for that chance.
It felt so good, my arms around her back, my hands touching it, our chests tight only at the top because down below we were separated by that damn emergency brake, but it did not matter. It didn’t matter because I felt the connection inside our chests, in our hearts. It was a love connection so strong it could have been felt equally well between our mutual Facebook sessions, each separated by miles of electromagnetic waves, fiber optic cables and copper wires.
And then it was gone.
There was a lasting feeling of contentment, though. I think there was also happiness in there too, but it’s hard to tell them apart.
I think it’s because I’ve never been so open to love before. I’ve never been so content before, so even if I’m just contented, well, I can’t be for long, because happiness comes along.
photo: jo-h flickr