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People Like to Hold Hands in Different Ways

February 8, 2024

Written by Helena Wang

People like to hold hands in different ways. Some prefer to interlock fingers, to feel bound to the other hand, locked in this perpetual embrace. It starts to become a natural movement, seeking out the hand of another, finding a place among the empty spaces between each of the fingers. Maybe the couple you saw passing down the street, fingers intertwined between their bodies, had just fought over whose fingers go where, believing that the way they like to hold hands is the right way.

Others like clasping their hands together, clammy palm to clammy palm, unafraid to bear their skin to one another. Sometimes, it looks like one person is anchoring the other, grounding them to the world, stopping them from floating away, almost in a desperate attempt. Sometimes, the hands are clasped so tightly that the flushed red of the skin disappears, and it almost looks painful. Maybe, it isn’t always such a loving embrace. Maybe, underneath the clammy hands and the yearning for touch, there is a couple fearful that this will be the last embrace of their hands.

But you’ll never know from your brief encounter passing them by on the street. The tight clutch might be from the cold, an attempt to warm each other up with the heat pulsing beneath the palm. So, you find yourself glancing away with a lasting wry smile.

People just like to hold hands in different ways.

You like wrapping your gentle hand around one finger—the pointer, maybe the pinky sometimes—depending on your mood. It makes you feel giddy inside, bubbling with a childhood resurfaced. It makes you laugh, the peculiar feeling of a singular finger held within the palm of your hand, reminiscent of the way you held onto your mother’s. You remember being terrified that somehow, somewhere, her finger would slip out of your clutch, and she’d disappear into the crowd, your anchor gone. You’d search for her delicate fingers amongst the sea of others, your small body engulfed, palms sweating, heart racing.

One would think that hands must be tired of being held all the time, of being touched or grasped or clutched. It isn’t so desirable to be held in an embrace for so long that beads of sweat start to merge and become nothing less of a clammy mess.

But you like holding hands just as much as the next person. It makes you chuckle almost, how people are so determined to interlock their fingers no matter the circumstances—shoving your interlocked fingers into the pocket of a warm jacket when it's cold, or emptying your hands of gadgets and whatnot so that you can hold another.

People like to hold hands, even if it's in different ways.

People yearn to hold hands, and I guess it is this yearning that makes it okay if people like to hold hands differently.

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