On Holding Hands
There is no public display of affection more intimate between two people than hand holding.
A woman and I can get caught having sex in a public place. We can make out on a street corner for all the world to see. We can hug so closely it looks like we’re dry-humping each others brains out. I can put my arm around her, grab her ass. She can lock her arm into mine, lick my neck. We can do anything we want to one another in front of people, or in places where people can see us, and none of it necessarily means we’re in a relationship. Sure it may be implied, but most of the acts I just mentioned prove my woman and I are nothing more than two lustful freaks who can’t find a room, or maybe don’t care to find one.
But holding hands? In public? That’s like Valentine’s Day — for couples only.
The truth is, holding hands is the ultimate semblance that two people are not only together, but happily so. Couples kiss mad, hug mad, have sex mad, but hold hands mad? Oh no, they don’t do that.
Holding hands is what we do with the person we like the most at the moment we’re happiest with them. To hold hands with my woman in private is to say, I’m here and I’m glad you’re here too. To hold her hand in public is to say to anyone who sees us, She’s with me, I’m with her, and yes, we’re getting along just fine.
I’ve believed this to be true since childhood.
When I was growing up, my Mom and Pop fought a lot with each other. In my house, screaming and yelling was the way we communicated and though there were a lot of good times, laughter always seemed to share a room with drama or tension. But when I think about those 11 years they were together, the times I look back and smile about the most were the times when the two of them were holding hands.
To this day, I remember all the drives in our family caravan; my sister and I in the back seat, Mom riding shotgun, and Pop handling the wheel. Everyone’s eyes on the road in front of us. And maybe it happened as we were all talking and laughing, mostly it happened when a song came on the radio or the car was quiet, but whenever it happened, it went a little something like this:
Mom, or Pop, in their respective seats, eyes straight ahead, not looking at one another. Mom, or Pop’s, forearm planted on their arm rest for support. Mom, or Pop’s, palm opens in the small space between the van’s two front seats. And then, Mom, or Pop, does the same thing with their forearm and places their hand into the other.
I’m here and I’m glad you’re here too.
Sometimes they would do this in public.
She’s with me, I’m with her, and yes, we’re getting along just fine.