I stand on the quadrangle waiting for my handsome Beau to finish school for the day. I watch the little girls holding hands as they walk up and two boys hug each other and walk arm over shoulder up to the waiting area.
It’s so cute. A few more kids bolt from their class and they swirl around each other. Boys huddle and giggle and the girls likewise, all separated.
Beau grins ferociously and waves his little hand at me in the distance and bounds up to me.
I think about my friend Brandon and how, the day before, we walked on Bondi beach arm over shoulder as friends, giggling and being silly, like boys do. He pulls me in for hugs regularly, usually while he chats away. We don’t think of it as anything else.
So where is the point in our lives when hugs stop?
There must be a point where our little people grow up and realise that cuddling each other isn’t really cool, because somehow it stops, particularly for boys and men.
The day in January when Andreas left to go back home to Europe, I pulled him into me in the middle of Pitt St to say goodbye and held him for a while. When I let him go, I knew people were staring.
My mate Brandon grapple-hugs me during lunchtimes in the city, walking up the street for dinner, anywhere he can lay his chunky hands on my shoulders. At first I thought a little of his motivation was to be scandalous, but I was wrong. He just loves cuddles and talk groping, that is unless he sees a hot man walk past. I usually end up shoved into a bin or oncoming traffic so he can appear single, but he swoops back in.
His main concern if I go out is if I’ve had a hug.  “…and did you get a hug John.  Where are the hugs?” he asks.
As I wave him off for a few months away, I contemplate and hope the kids at school don’t let each other go too soon.

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