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Hug #20

November 22, 2010

Hug #20
November 8 4:10-5:10 pm
Washington and State

“Here are some more over here! Did you see the others? Everybody’s doing it!”

Rachel, Aiden, Sara, Aurora, post-hug

That would be grand, if everyone WAS doing it. For today, though, 4 is enough to seem like everybody. Amid the heavy foot traffic at rush hour, we have the preacher just south of us and a canvasser for Rahm Emanuel to the north. People pass at a rapid and packed pace. Rachel and Aiden are across the street to our west, I can see them in my peripheral vision. I watch and listen to the sea of movement all around.

The canvasser begins to banter with the people passing. “Sign to get Rahm on the ballot and get a Hug!” He says this a couple of times then stops, as if sensing the stiffening of our backs. Aurora says in my ear she wants him to stop. He does. Then he starts up again, later, after our hug is drawing to a close. Aurora does not keep it to herself or me this time. She says to him that our Hugs have nothing to do with Rahm, have nothing to do with politics. He says we need all the help we can get.

I don’t feel helpless, and Aurora doesn’t either. We aren’t asking people for anything, we just put the Hug out there for people to smile at, to wonder about, to tell a friend about later. And maybe, to start a conversation or change one.

I like the idea that it can take just 4 huggers to make up “everyone” if only for a passing moment.

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