Cuddling is our favorite pastime.
Our ritual, our retreat, tangle of tears, nude knot; our hibernation, hiding place, our fort, our place of worship and horseplay. Our rest and resuscitation. After the year we’ve had, cuddles are necessary as medicine and manna. The cuddle is our mother.
It is home.
“Let’s go home and cuddle,” I say, but it’s redundant; going home is cuddling. We walk in the front door of our house, walk up 70 stairs, take off our boots, collapse in bed, pull the duvet over our heads, throw open the doors of our bodies, and then we’re home.
The cuddle never really ends. Before Sean goes to work in the morning, when it’s still dark, he lines up pillows behind my body and tucks them tight in the crook of my knees, all snug, and says, “There. Pretend that’s me still cuddling you. You won’t even know I’m gone.”
So he cuddles me even when he’s fitting Oxfordshire with wires and light bulbs and chandeliers. He’s endlessly dexterous.
I awaken to my breakfast tray hours later, so he’s there again. Muesli with chopped banana and chia seeds, a tiny decanter of milk, a little tangerine, one of his home-baked walnut “bisconies” and a coffee press just waiting for hot water. And my favorite children’s spoon, hand made with wonderful silversmith stamps on the handle.
I slide down to the foot of the bed and put the kettle on, brush my teeth, divide the boiling water between my coffee press and a hot water bottle and jump back into bed, my toes on the hot water bottle, my pillow-boyfriend around my body, my kitty on my legs, and my hands around my mug of coffee. Then I “go to work” on my laptop wearing pajamas, a kitty, and a make-believe cuddle.