Responding to an Open Letter

For you who never wanted a response,

Some people don’t like to be touched. Others received a superlative in high school for “Best Hugs.” I am the latter. But now I feel this pressure. Like my embraces will be graded by elementary school teachers. Not with letters, but with plus signs and minuses. Maybe it had more to do with the fact that I am a big guy. Maybe my peers saw no superlative for “best overweight happy man” so … ”best hugs” fit the bill.

Sometimes I am deprecating, actually most of the time I am deprecating. But not right now. Not as I write this. I ask, “Why don’t you want to be touched?” You who penned an open letter to those unlikely to respond. Is it because you were touched too much? Is it because it’s safer to remain at arm’s length?

Or maybe you reserve your clutching hands for someone who loves you and understands. If it’s that – then I understand … with my pen in hand.

I don’t think we touch enough.

The religious are fearful of sparking some premarital or extramarital fire; perhaps with very good reason. We are all afraid to be hurt and maybe if we never touch, we’ll be distant enough and keep on doing nothing more than text too much.

I think we all want to be touched.

But not everyone wants to be hugged by acquaintances. If you don’t want to be wrapped in the arms of your hairdresser, coworker, parent’s drunken friend or neighbor’s kid, I get that.

But by someone who knows me deeply, I want to be held and I want to hold right back.

So, I guess you wrote an open letter to someone unlikely to respond only to get an unlikely response by someone like me. But don’t worry. I could have written this letter to myself and wound up with something very similar.

With Love,
Tyler

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