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Hug #22

December 8, 2010

Hug #22
December 3, 2010
Wabash and Monroe
approx 30 degrees

“You guys are so cute. And kind of funny.”

Today when I arrive at Sara’s office I can tell she is stressed. “We can’t let my new boss see us changing!” she says as we huddle in her cubicle and change into our reds. It is a very busy time for her at work and I sometimes worry that our hugs are interfering with her job, since she leaves in the middle of her work day. We sneak out the back door of the office so as not to be seen by the higher ups.

It’s literally freezing outside. Our coldest hug day yet. Somehow in the process of tying our balloons to one another’s wrists, one escapes. We tie the balloons as quickly as possible so we can return our frozen fingers to their cozy gloves.

We are a red humming buoy in a sea of gray. People seem to appreciate our action even more because of the cold.

A lady who does traffic management comes over to check us out. “You guys are so cute,” she says. “And kind of funny.” She comes over again, about twenty minutes later and says, “Now you look like Siamese twins!”

Sara sometimes calls us the two-headed monster.

This location, more then any other location downtown, is our stomping ground. We are right near Sara’s office building and right near where we both went to school. We see lots of people we know grabbing lunch or doing errands on their breaks.

Lots of people, both friends and strangers, hug us.

We are generating a great deal of heat. “You’re warm!” One woman says as she hugs us.

A bunch of CTA workers call down to us from the train tracks. I don’t hear them at first, but they catch Sara’s attention. “Huuugggg!” One shouts from the tracks above us. When we look up we see a couple of workers in an embrace. “Huuuggg!” we call back.

I thought it might be crazy-making to stand still for an hour during the winter, but the hug feels great. It makes sense. And every time we hug, it makes more sense.

I look forward to the winter hugs to come. Bring it.

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