Sacha Black has asked us to write about hugs, here. I know there was a word limit but it didn’t happen. Sorry
Hug let out a sigh. It had been a tiring day, gripping for so long every part of its being felt tense and knotted. And now it had a meeting of the Greetings’ Representatives. God, how it hated politics.
On the one side, there was the Handshake contingent, still living in a world of stiff lipped men and simpering women. It longed for some mystical time when only hands touched hands, kisses were reserved for bedtime and foreigners and hugs belonged to bears. Of course the internal battles between the traditional finger wrap ‘n’ grip and the more fashionable variants of knuckle knocks, high fives and rap-esque choreography had simmered for years but in the light of the current threats in the Greetings’ Market even they had come together in a show of hand-holding unity.
On the other there was the Kissers, those libertine sharers of bodily fluids, lip and cheek brushers and mouth daubers. They had always avoided the factional infighting of the Handshakers but, in truth that was because they knew when to apply which kiss. Recently however Politicians kissed each other and strangers leapt in for a triple mwah without so much as a by your leave; it felt like the old order was breaking down.
And in the middle sat the comfortable hug. Close enough to be intimate and yet nothing so much as a moist palm to disturb anyone’s sensitivities. The variables had always been subtle from the light holding of the arms to the full round grip. Hug had tried to keep the peace, even going into collation with the handshake, creating the popular half hug, half hand grip as a way to minimize the growing influence of the kiss; but the more esoteric wing of Handshakers felt excluded and in reality everyone knew it was about the increasing influence of the hug rather than a restoration of the primacy of the handshake.
Today both extremes were calling for a referendum. The Handshakers wanted traditional English values of reserve and distance to be restored while the Kissers were after more mixing, an ever closer union. Hug would be expected to come down on one side or the other but really it wanted everyone to live together in peace. After all if they pulled each other apart, the only greeting that would benefit was the small minded, out of touch Wave and everyone knew where that would lead. Hug rolled its round shoulders. Maybe it should offer free hugs?