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I hugged so many people today.

Not casual quick ones, but great big bear hugs with feeling, and I was hugged right back. No lecherous undertones; just nice expressions of friendship, of brotherhood & kinship.

Some of my favourite people in the world are awesome huggers, they wrap you up in their arms, embrace you like they mean it (gentle, yet firm) leaving you with no doubt that you are the lucky recipient of a wealth of affection.

My dad was like that, and I grew up knowing affection, surrounded by it. Love wasn't an abstract concept, it was in our every action, in our way of being.
xoxo... It's as necessary as air.
I breathe it in, experience it with my whole being... pay it back in kind.

My best hug is the one that has you closing your eyes tightly and leaves you beaming with pleasure. The warmth of the other person lingers and the feeling radiates throughout your body. No words are necessary in this instance and the depth of feeling is conveyed to full effect by two bodies locked tightly together in mutual pleasure.

But there is nothing more heart wrenching that a hug goodbye.
Especially if you are saying farewell to someone you love and you're not ready to let go. In this moment you wish that time would stand still. In this moment you wish you never have to let go. In this moment you are too afraid to speak for in speaking you might reveal the truth. So you hold back a thousand thoughts and sentiments and pour every emotion into your touch. The moment is all the more bittersweet because with the touch of your hand against the nape of his neck, his arms curled around your shoulders, his hands stroking your silky strands, your face buried against his wish you could set up home in his embrace.

The moment passes, you hold your breath, feel his heartbeat once more, then life interrupts.
You feel the instant he begins to let go, the shift is subtle, but the wall between the two of you is already put in place. Your eyes become veiled and you become numb, numb enough to watch him walk away...

And you find yourself avoiding xoxo for the longest time.
Then one day it creeps up on you, you open your eyes and realize you are in the middle of a great big hug and that it feels pretty good.
And you wonder why you gave up on it.
And you draw the person closer, breathing in their scent.
And you snuggle deeper into them, hiding out in love.
And you open yourself up, and the world rushes in... in kindness, to sooth your wounded heart.

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