Hugging Martha Davis
Posted on August 22, 2016
I’m not much of a hugger. I’m more of a hugger now than I ever was, but I never used to be. I think it was because of my aunt. My parents and relatives used to tell me that if I hugged and kissed my aunt, she’d give me a freckle. Damn redhead. None of my friends had this problem. Their aunts didn’t have cooties. My aunt apparently did and I didn’t want her freckles. I’m still not fond of hugging and kissing my aunt. She gives me a gray hair instead of a freckle these days, and I’m just not having it.
My husband’s grandmother doesn’t even hug me. It’s a polite handshake…from a distance, and we both use hand sanitizer immediately after while Ralph shakes his head and rolls his eyes. It’s all good. The Evil One and I are civil. My husband’s hugs are different. I like to think he hugs me because he’s being affectionate, which is a foreign concept to his alien DNA. He likes to hug me to pat me down and see if I’m hiding any Blu-Rays on my person that he’s not supposed to know about.
Fortunately, I’ve mellowed over the years, and when I see long distance friends like G.A. Hauser, Patricia Logan, J.P. Barnaby, Shae Connor, Eden Winters, Kiernan Kelly, T.C. Blue, and Ally Blue, my first inclination is to go immediately for the hug. I don’t get to see them very often, so when I do, the hug actually says a lot. It says “I’ve missed you, I hope you’re well, and I’m grateful for the time we get to spend together.” I know. I’ve gotten to be a bit of a softy.
Stay with me now because what I’m going to say will eventually come full circle to the title of today’s piece.
I had the opportunity last year to see The Motels play concerts in NYC, close to home in Ann Arbor, and then in Phoenix when I was taking pictures for the Falling Awake book cover. It was a chance to hear some fantastic music, and catch up with singer/songwriter Martha Davis for a couple minutes after each show. It was after the Phoenix show that I launched the new book, attended a few conventions, and dad passed away. Basically a whole lotta stuff happened.
Life also threw a few things Martha’s way during that time, which we talked a little bit about via e-mail. It’s been a rough year for her. It just has. So, two weeks ago, I found out The Motels were going to be playing their first show in many months, and it would be in NYC. I contacted Little Brother’s husband, got him on board, and surprised LB by flying in and taking them to the show along with my friend Monique.
Music inspires, and I think I needed some inspiration. Martha writes and performs, and the place was packed. The energy and enthusiasm from the crowd seemed to be what she needed. And, yes, it’s going to sound silly when I type this, but this being her first show in a while, I wanted to be a friendly face in the crowd. I also wanted to hear the music.
So, after the set ended, my friends and I walked upstairs to where they’d set Martha up at a table, we got in line, and waited our turn. When it came, Martha looked up, stood up, and we went in for the hug. And, yes, this was a hug that said “I’ve missed you, I hope you’re well, and I’m grateful for the time we get to spend together.” But it also said “I’m sorry for what’s happened, I know how some of it feels, and it’s eventually going to be okay. We have to believe that.”
It was a long hug. There was a lot to say non-verbally. And for not being a huge hugger in life, it was one of the best hugs I can remember. What I didn’t know is that Little Brother realized a little of what was going on, and he snapped a picture of it.
There are tiny moments in our lives that stay with us; births, passings, visiting a place, meeting someone, sharing something, or seeing something that resonates with us. We don’t know what they’ll be or when they’ll happen until the moment they do.
But I will always remember this moment. I will remember hugging Martha.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.