The Night I Got Hugged

This odd thing happened to me.

I was walking out of The Moody Theater in downtown Austin after seeing Pete Holmes, one of my favorite stand-up comics. I was with my friend, a lady Sam, and we were buzzing from the show. We loved it. We’d both cried a bit from laughing so hard. The night felt special for a couple of moments.

Sam and I were parked in opposite directions, so we hugged before parting ways. Then I hear a woman’s voice behind me: “Excuse me.”

I turned, and there stood a striking beauty. A woman, African-American, maybe six feet tall, in a little black dress that I’m sure cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. You know how some people–often certain celebrities, if you happen to meet them up close—just seem different? 

“Excuse me,” she said, and I noticed that a couple of feet behind her stood an almost equally striking middle-aged guy—think John Flattery in Mad Men, replete with tailored grey suit. This was a rich, handsome, powerful couple; or else they were exquisite impersonators.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you.” And then I realized that she had a British accent. I was wordless, awestruck. “But I noticed you and your friend hugging.”

“Uh huh,” I managed to grunt, Oscar Wilde-like.

“I loved it. You don’t see people hugging like that anymore,” she said and revealed the whitest teeth known. “I was wondering if maybe you would both give me a hug?” She extended her arms.

My friend, Sam, being a heterosexual woman, wasn’t quite as gooey as I was—though she later admitted that yes, this woman was unlike the rest of us humans—and she acquiesced quickly. She and the tall woman hugged, and both kind of giggle self-consciously when they parted.

Then it was my turn. And owing to my being 34 and not 24, I managed not to completely humiliate myself. We hugged, and it was a more legitimate hug than most. She didn’t lean forward, only touching shoulders, as many women seem to. It was a more full-body hug, and it lasted all of two seconds. But of course she smelled like heaven smells, and she was strong and soft.

Her fancy white dude kind of checked his watch and looked up the street, not wanting to witness his flighty girlfriend’s hugging of these two denim-wearing 99%’ers. I understood. I mean, she probably did stuff like this all the time, hugging weirdos like me and stopping to literally smell the roses.

But whatever, I got to hug a supermodel. And it was her idea.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that hug kind of ruined things. Because it so oddly interrupted the time I was having with my lady friend. And I definitely didn’t realize it at the time, but I was in love with that lady friend, and this was an especially special evening for us, and we were so happy. And I think after our hug, me and Sam would’ve kept talking, and maybe we would’ve grabbed a drink and talked, and maybe I would have recognized the uniqueness of the night.

Instead, we got hugged by the gorgeous black lady, and we kind of laughed about it, and our moment—the one me and Sam had just had together—well, it was gone for good. No getting it back. So I walked to my car and she walked to hers.

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