Aimee walked around holding people's hands. If you were walking down the street by yourself, she'd slowly come up beside you and grab your hand, as long as it was free for her to grab. She did it kindly and without being aggressive. If your hand was open and free, it would be held in her hand and you'd be walking side by side with a stranger.
Some people hated this and ripped their hand away from her, as if they were being terrorized. Some people even ran away. After all, holding hands can be the most intimate of actions for certain people. More than kissing. More than sex. Aimee knew this, but she wasn't trying to hurt anyone. She wasn't even trying to be funny. She was just trying to help.
Younger men would look at their hand in Aimee's hand and then up at Aimee's face and smirk, like it meant she was going to fuck them. Aimee walked with these men for about a block and then let go, quickly turning down a street or simply turning around and almost immediately getting lost in the crowd. These men would look for Aimee for about five minutes and then give up. Only a couple would look all day and lie in bed at night holding their right hand in their left and closing their eyes until they had a picture in their head that they could jerk off to.
Lots of people laughed when Aimee held their hand. Women would laugh and giggle and it would make their day, just to be able to tell someone else, "A stranger held my hand today."
A man named Walter didn't even feel anything when Aimee held his hand. She walked with him for blocks and blocks until they reached his apartment. He let go of her hand to take out his keys and looked at her face. First at her lips and then her nose, which was right in the middle of her face, and then he looked into her eyes for more than three seconds, which is a long time to look into a stranger's eyes. He didn't smile or say thank you or ask who she was. He just left her there in front of the apartment, where she stood for at least four minutes and then walked back the way she came from.
Tears formed in Alice's eyes when Aimee held her hand because she had always wanted to hold hands with a girl whose skin was just as soft as hers, but she had been too afraid to ask anybody. Aimee walked with Alice for what seemed like twenty-minutes and then, when Alice had stopped crying, she let go of her hand and walked away.
Aimee never asked if it was okay to hold a person's hand. She just wanted to, so she did it.
Tim had at first laughed when Aimee held his hand. He was walking home with a bag of groceries in one hand: a box of sugary cereal, two apples, two cans of soup, a loaf of crumbly bread. He gave her a look as if to say, "I think you're making a huge mistake," but when he saw her face, he could see that she clearly wasn't making a mistake. So they just walked, and as they walked, Tim began to really feel sad about Aimee leaving once they reached his door. He sat down and Aimee sat with him. He took out an apple and handed it to her empty hand. She bit into it and they sat staring at the cars passing them through the street.
And soon it felt like they were sitting right in the middle of the busy street. And it was raining. And it was snowing. And people in big cars that looked like boats were trying to parallel park around them. And it became dark outside. And Aimee held onto Tim's hand so he would know that it was okay. And he cried a little bit. And she cried a little bit too. And even though she didn't know anything about him, he felt okay being himself for a moment. And then, the sun came out. And he kept looking down at her hand to see that he wasn't alone. And that's all that Aimee wanted anyway.
Katie McMahon is a lady who lives in the North Hollywood area. She has a bachelor's degree that she keeps on her bookcase and looks at sometimes. She is getting a master's degree to put on her nightstand. Sometimes she takes pictures which you can look at here, but you don't have to if you're busy right now.