Anders’s hugs would start out tentatively. He would be slow to approach, slow to accept, even with arms stretched out wide before him, there for him. He needs it, oh Maker how he needs it, but he isn’t quite sure how to allow himself even just that little tiny piece of affection, even that small hint of it’s okay, you’re not alone.

Anders’s arms would creep up from underneath, not quite awkward but far from comfortable. Painstaking, almost methodical in how they would inch upwards, anticipatory, waiting for a change of mind, for the recoil he expects at any given moment, yet easing slightly with each little movement until settling in, realizing that this is okay, properly leaning into it at last.

Anders’s hugs would then—finally, finally, finally—be the purest feeling, his whole self thrown into it, his arms wrapped tight and his body tense against the embrace, holding on as he holds onto everything but Maker, yes, this is good, this time it is something so good. He would take in every second, holding closer with each breath, soaking in that comfort, breathing in this warmth, not wanting to let go.

Anders’s hugs would be nervous but oh so worthwhile, so close, so genuine, so magical. So perfectly precise, so precarious but so close, so consuming, so appreciative, and Anders would not be the only one longing to hold on forever. Please just let me hug Anders…why can’t I hug Anders…pleasepleaseplease, my love…

I rarely ever post my own art on here, but I just finished a big thing!

Every single Robot Master from the Mega Man series (and Mega Mini) given 8-bit mugshots!

Obviously, to see it better, you gotta view the image manually

I do not mean the symbol
of love, a candy shape
to decorate cakes with,
the heart that is supposed
to belong or break;

I mean this lump of muscle
that contracts like a flayed biceps,
purple-blue, with its skin of suet,
its skin of gristle, this isolate,
this caved hermit, unshelled
turtle, this one lungful of blood,
no happy plateful.

All hearts float in their own
deep oceans of no light,
wetblack and glimmering,
their four mouths gulping like fish.
Hearts are said to pound:
this is to be expected, the heart’s
regular struggle against being drowned.

But most hearts say, I want, I want,
I want, I want. My heart
is more duplicitous,
though to twin as I once thought.
It says, I want, I don’t want, I
want, and then a pause.
It forces me to listen,

and at night it is the infra-red
third eye that remains open
while the other two are sleeping
but refuses to say what it has seen.

It is a constant pestering
in my ears, a caught moth, limping drum,
a child’s fist beating
itself against the bedsprings:
I want, I don’t want.
How can one live with such a heart?

Long ago I gave up singing
to it, it will never be satisfied or lulled.
One night I will say to it:
Heart, be still,
and it will.

Margaret Atwood,

Selected Poems II (1976-1986): The Woman Who Could Not Live With Her Faulty Heart