I cherish a snapshot* of Gavin with his long thin arms loosely around me outside a hip brunch place in the college town next door. It’s a sunny day and I’m wearing the flowing skirt and fuchsia top I’d worn to graduate from college a few years before. My arms are toned from sword work, pushups, and youth. That photo, transferred to silk, is in a pillowed cartouche on the front of our wedding album and preserves one of the happiest smiles we had.
I remember always the feeling of his arms around me. I felt encircled, sealed tight but comfortable, binding me loosely inside a pure shape and close to his body. Gavin was a calm man and that state was contagious when he held me this way. I felt safe and energized.
From the start, nearly two years ago, Mr. Fresh has loved to hold me, join his strong arms around me when we’re lying in bed, my back to his front. Our hooks and crooks find each other and go soft. I feel nestled and nuzzled. I know I’m safe because he’s so strong and he means it.
It’s comfortable for me, but deeply, richly comforting for him. He needs this peace, it doesn’t follow him otherwise. If you look into his pool it’s roiling, even when he’s happy. He’s restless.
I love that I can do for him what Gavin did for me, even though I have no idea what it is, because I know how delicious it is and how necessary.
* The picture above is of the same hug but in 2005, with Short Stack in the huddle.
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