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Hug #4

July 24, 2010

July 22, 2010 3:45-4:45
Van Buren & State (in front of ‘The Eye’)

This week we received a lot of attention. Perhaps it’s because we have managed to coordinate the shade of red we wear. Or perhaps it’s because this is the first week that we figured out a good system for our mini-flyers (they are attached to a shower ring and people can just come up and rip them off).

But I think it has something to do with the Eye…

One of our balloons pops immediately, punctured by a nearby tree branch. Before we can even get our arms around one another, a woman comes up and asks what we are doing. She bring up Reiki, an energetic healing practice, and I mention that I am a Thai Massage practitioner.

There is an older woman with her. We begin to hug. The older woman is very excited about the hug and we ask her to take our picture. She takes many pictures. She takes photos of our eyes with the Eye in the background. She hugs us and kisses us on the lips and asks us what we are to one another. She asks us twice. She tells us she is 86 and her friend is 38. The younger woman has incredibly long grey hair.

A man comes up and asks us if we are doing performance art. We are so we tell him that we are doing performance art.

A woman who has been sitting underneath the Eye for a while comes us and asks us what we are doing. She asks us if we are lesbians or something. We don’t identify as lesbians. She thinks its strange to hug for so long because it is hot.

A security guard comes over and we suppose he might kick us out. He will at least ask if we have a permit. Instead he just puts his arms around us and hugs us for a long time, a minute or more.

Many people hug near us. Many people smile.

My intention for the hug is to hug Sara with love and compassion for the entire hour and to offer love and compassion to everyone who walks by. On this day I feel successful. I am full, brimming over. When it ends I am covered in sweat, but buzzing with giddy energy and excitement.

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