Monday, November 5, 2012

The 3 Times in My Life That I Ever Held Hands With Someone

It was the summer before I entered my freshman year of high school. I was volunteering at a convention away from home. It was nearing the end of the night, and one of the other volunteers whom I had been working with that day asked if I wanted to check out the rave with him (lolraves). I said sure because there was nothing better to do.

We went and danced and because I am forever awkward, every time he tried to get close to me, I maneuvered myself away. About 20 minutes in, I was bored and decided to check out what else was going on. He tagged along.

I didn't really know my way around, so the two of us just kind of wandered and talked about things. I can't really remember about what exactly because the next thing I knew, we were holding hands, and I immediately became flustered and probably remained incoherent the rest of the night.

I eventually tired out from gadding about in circles in an attempt to unwind this confusing knot I found myself in and told him I was calling it a night. He insisted on walking me back to my hotel room. When we reached my door, I said an abrupt good night, which prompted him to ask, "That's it?" To this day, I can't tell if his leaning in was a request for a kiss or his tendency to bob his head like a rooster in slow motion.

It was the fall semester of my junior year of college - studying abroad at Yonsei. Cameron and I had just found out that Sookhee and other random people thought that we were actually going out, causing the two of us to have a hearty chuckle over the matter.

Later that night, we met up with Douglas's friends from home, and on cue, we immediately introduced ourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend because while Camstance wasn't our name, trolling was our game. We kept up the schtick, along with the "I'm Mexican" bit, for a while until we gave it up, or slipped, whichever makes us sound like we knew what we were doing.

The rest of the night is a bit fuzzy from there (Alcohol/Good Decisions 2012), but suddenly I was aware of the fact that Cam and I were holding hands under the table, interlocking fingers and everything. Then, one of the girls noticed and raised an eyebrow in doubt of our previous admission of relationship. I immediately unlaced our hands out of awkwardness and refused to say a word about it.

It was the spring semester of my junior year of college, aka last semester. Will had recently moved to New York in search of a job, and he reached out asking if I wanted to meet up. This was during my lack-of-friends awareness, pre-therapy time, so I was eager to hang out with anyone who was willing to keep me on board when they cast their net.

We decided to just chill in his apartment in Brooklyn because going out to drink could get pricey, so I brought tequila. We chatted as if we were old pals (we weren't) and took some shots for the sole purpose of taking shots (Alcohol/Good Decisions 2016). The Mexican sting ended up being a little too much after the fifth shot, so he tossed me a beer.

Eventually we ran out of things to say (it took 20 minutes), so Will suggested we watch a movie. When we could find nothing good on HBO, we skimmed through the torrented collection on his laptop. He was a little too upset that I had never seen Kung Fu Panda, so I just submitted to the idea of watching anything that wouldn't require me to fake conversation for another 2 hours. He decided that watching on his bed would be more comfortable. I couldn't agree more because I innocently + lazily love beds, so we nestled in, but not close.

I couldn't feel the tequila before, but now I couldn't keep my laughter in. Everything on the screen was just, so, funny. 5 minutes in, and I think I was just laughing at movement. 1 minute after that I realized our hands, cold from clutching chilled beer bottles for 10 awkward conversational minutes, were providing each other with warmth. And here I thought that holding hands in bed during movies was just a thing of the movies.

Guys' hands have a sinister way of sliding their fingers into yours, like 5 snakes in the grass. (Or 10 snakes hugging? Is my serpentine imagery failing?)

But the moment I realize that our fingers are intertwined, I feel warm and safe and, most of all, loved, just for a second, before I decide that I feel too uncomfortable with this manual intimacy. Or any form of intimacy as a matter of fact.

Is it sad that in my head, I push all the bases up one and consider "holding hands" homeplate?

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