The girl is hot. Good God, she's hot.
He's dreamed of this moment since he first saw her on television, chestnut hair tumbling, ninja sword thrust boldly from her hip. The boy approaches. He trembles as his friend readies the camera. Their sides touch, and he wraps his arm around her back. But … but …
The fear is intense. He can't bear to feel her skin. He floats his hand an inch, heat radiating onto her shoulder. Vacant of brain, he smiles.
It's as old as sexual tension, awkwardness and photography. But Hover Hand fully self-actualized on the Internet, the latest digital fever sure to flame quickly as it came.
The meme exploded when a homely fan attending a convention met beautiful science fiction star Summer Glau, hovering so closely he cast finger shadows on her shoulder.
Hover Hand plagued Glau several times at the same event. Dudes with glasses, guys with fake weapons strapped to their chests and even some women Hovered above Glau, who wore a strapless top. The pictures spread with the label "HOVER HAND. SO CLOSE, YET, SO FAR." People called Glau a magical virginity detector.
Several Hover Hand websites followed. The term appeared in Urban Dictionary.
In Brandon, a 21-year-old radiology student was bored. He had seen the Glau photos. It made him think of his idiot friends.
"They're just not comfortable touching someone that they don't know, especially with hot women," said Steve Kelly. "I kept seeing it more and more, and I would look at pictures from back in high school and see it."
He searched domain names in December and found thehoverhand.com. He threw up a couple old pictures of terminally embarrassing buddies. Without any advertising, submissions started pouring in from around the world.
Kelly has posted hundreds of Hover Hand photos. Five new ones arrived to his inbox Wednesday night, and he expects an influx after Metrocon, the huge anime convention this weekend in Tampa.
He can tell an authentic Hover Hand from a fake. He weeds them out and gives them titles.
Prom Night Hover Fist. Big Awkward Hover Hand. Nerd Herd Hover Hand. Magnetic Shield Hover Hand.
In April, College Humor released a parody of Britney Spears' Hold It Against Me called The Hover Hand Song.
Even though you wrapped your hand around, and on my shoulder it should have come down. You're doing Hover Hand above me now, and won't hold it against me. Seems like we're super tight, but if you look close it isn't quite right.
Celebrity Hover Hands have started to surface.
A photo of John Belushi Hover-Handing two cheerleaders in Animal House appeared on The Chive website.
At the Hangover premiere in 2009, Heather Graham let her four co-stars hold her horizontally.
Justin Bartha and Zach Galifianakis, positioned near her lady lumps, Hovered like champs. Bartha wisely turned one of his floating hands into a thumbs-up.
Hover Hand does not discriminate based on gender. There's a version for guys, a move that says, "Dude, I just don't want to touch you." President Barack Obama Hovered French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008 at a joint press conference.
Kelly insists he has never Hovered. And now that he runs the website, he makes extra sure to pose confidently beside ladies so he doesn't get busted.
Wrap arm. Press down fingers. Smile.