She stood there, quietly and quickly assembling the sandwich, squaring the meat and cheese and bread, just so. It goes into the Baggie with a pinch and a zip. Her thoughts are busied with arranging today’s list of things to do: call the school, revise the contract, do some laundry, and on and on. Behind her, as is true of most mornings, she hears his footsteps on the hard floor, slow and uneven, tentative from sleep. As he comes closer, she feels the muscles in her body tense. She knows why, but she doesn’t want to know why. Already, she is telling herself, “Let him in, let him in.” Still, she tenses, closing her eyes, her body deceiving her, as usual. His arms close around her, sliding in under her own arms and around her waist, his chin resting on her shoulder, his whiskers and cheek locking into her own. “Good morning, beautiful,” he says, optimistic. She hears the sigh before she feels it, knowing it just escaped her own lips, wishing it had not. She wills her body to relax, but it does not, she is busy after all. There are so many things to do, doesn’t he know that? As soon as the last inch of air releases her lungs, that telling sigh, she feels it. The courage, the risk, the hope, slowly letting go, his fingers not so tight, his arms not so strong, his head a bit heavier on her shoulder. Again.
I wrote that piece over a year ago when we first began our journey, remembering how things were not so long before. As I sit and reflect today, one of my favorite changes over time has been the way M and I hug. Things are so far from how they used to be. We hug like we mean it, every time, now. We stop what we are doing and pause to hug. For a moment, we only feeł one another.
Not only have we made a habit of hugging more often and making them count, but the manner in which we hug has changed. Those behind the back hugs in the morning are my very favorite way to begin each day. They are routine; I look forward to each and every one.
When I cook, those behind the back hugs most often include groping hands, ass smacks, nipple pinches, and whispered naughtiness. Many times, I bend over for no reason at all, just to elicit one such hug. I think he’s on to me, but that’s half the fun.
Face to face, when we hug, he instinctively uses one of his hands to pull my head to his chest, arms around me, one hand on my upper back. That other hand is cradling my head, pressing me to him. His chin rests on the top of my head and my arms are wrapped around him. I’m locked into him. I hear his heart beating against my cheek. I can smell his essence. I am small and safe, feelings I’ve never allowed myself to feel before. I am just me in those moments – His. And the world melts away.
Hugging M has become like a ‘power-up’, a Red Bull for my soul. They revive me and refuel me. I NEED his hugs.