Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fingers and Palms

In college, I used to religiously watch the show My So Called Life. The relationship between Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) was completely mesmerizing. It began with secret makeout sessions in the high school's boiler room and eventually led to far more significant activities: like hand-holding.

One of my favorite Angela lines was, "What is holding hands?! What are hands?!"

I'm not entirely sure why I found this rumination so amusing. I guess because it acknowledged the emotional weight of such a seemingly small action. Why do people hold hands? And why does it feel like something so special when it happens?

Perhaps because it's a sort of declaration of solidarity. Holding hands isn't about physical pleasure the way a kiss is. It's a statement: We're in this together. It's a melding of palms and fingers that—when you look at it—almost makes it hard to see whose appendages belong to whom.

I can still remember what each of my boyfriends' fingers felt like laced between my own. I can even remember the moment a couple of them first grabbed my hand in public—the delight that one gesture elicited; the way it made me feel like it was us against the world. There's almost something magical about it.

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