Morning hug

”You didn’t give me a hug” she pouted

”yes I did” I replied

”no you didn’t” the child insisted

”yes I did” I insisted childishly

maybe the issue is we have different ideas of what a hug is. often the ground for conflict is based on differences in our understanding of words and if so, resolution may happen by coming to terms with your terminology.

to prove my point I thus looked up the word for her. here’s what my dictionary states:

hug [huhg] verb (used with object), hugged, hugging
to clasp tightly in the arms, especially with affection; embrace

to my surprise she pointed gleefully: ”see? you didn’t give me a hug, you only used one arm”

seriously? I need two arms to give a proper hug? is the plural arms in the definition categorical or merely exemplary? do I really want to argue this?

I thought I gave her a hug… I held her tightly. with one arm. and to me that was a hug and the dictionary be damned

but winning an argument with a woman is never useful and at the core I did understand the issue. the word-book says especially with affection. a hug can be without affection

that morning I gave her a hug because she asked for it, but it wasn’t with feeling. I was busy writing, thinking, working and her request for a hug was interrupting my flow. so I merely obliged. and she felt that. that lack of feeling.

it was that emotional absence that bothered her. she wanted connection, and I was busy

but affection cannot be commanded, manufactured on the spot to suit the need of another. affection is a liquid that gets squeezed upwards into the heart in Artesian fashion by internal pressures we know little of… it’s something that lifts the bearer, not something intended as a present for the beloved

I gave her a hug but it was obsequious, a gesture of compliance because if I denied her the hug she’d accuse me of denying her hugs for the rest of forever — a charge easily computed to carry too high a cost, within my cost assessment structure

but it didn’t work. it didn’t placate her basic need, which is my whole point of being here. if a lover cannot satisfy the beloved’s need for love, then what’s the point of being there?

that’s what she asks all the time. why be here if there is no feeling?

I hate feelings. they’re such unruly, counter-productive, exasperating forces — and I’ve extirpated them from my life. in that respect I’m in a small minority. to most, emotion is the élan vital of life, the factory of meaning that gives one’s path in life a destination

I have no destination. I’m going nowhere. and I don’t give a shit

but she does, and she minds that I don’t

so perhaps I shouldn’t be in a relationship… it’s what she tells me off and on, echoing the sentiments of past lovers, and perhaps she’s right. but it’s not a choice, no more than anything else is. she showed up in my life. could I have said, no? of course not, that’s ridiculous, not any more than I could say no to getting up in the morning, eating or reading about Ethereum

we don’t have choices in life. it’s a modern myth that we do. but my matriculation in this school of thought places me in yet another tiny minority, and frankly, one that doesn’t help my relationship

I like my relationship. it is a platform that has allowed my evolution in certain directions I deem positive… towards greater balance, perhaps. towards maturity, compassion. towards a greater sense of humanity

our relationship has allowed me to become less machine-like, less isolated, less desolate… and I’m happy with it

but if I make her unhappy?

not all relationships work out — a fact I’ve learned at great cost. and the prevailing zeitgeist says it’s better to cut your losses and get out than to waste your time. better to move on. move onto others, with other problems

but that’s not me. I never cut my losses. I will sink with the ship

erick calder