Friends, today I'd like to talk about something very important. To the young and uninitiated, what I'm going to talk about could be deemed obscene, indecent, or even gross. Those of us who are older and more refined in our tastes know, however, that it can be a bewildering, breathtaking, even transcendent experience. Yes friends, today I'd like to talk about...kissing. We'll cut through the pesky details of who said what and, perhaps to the dismay of some, focus nearly exclusively on the kissing parts. And now, I present you with...A Tale of Two Kisses.
On Saturday I had wine with Dan, a 6'1" 34 year-old biologist. We sat outside on the patio of Noir. (I think of it just like that, in italics - Noir. A definite step up from the sitting on the grass, drinking iced coffee dates I'm used to). He seemed nice enough, and in spite of his age he had a certain boyish charm. After a couple glasses of shiraz, discussing our jobs and our travels, we left Noir and walked around a bit, ending up on a bench in Cambridge Common.
"This is nice," he said, reaching for my hand.
"What is?" I said, thinking, My hand? My hand is nice? My watch? My ring?
"This park," he said.
"Oh, yes, yes it is," I agreed.
And then, as if scripted, he put his arm around me, leaned in, and kissed me. And it was...not good. At first it was too hesitant, his lips barely making contact, and then, more disturbingly, it just would not end. It's hard to say how a kiss could be both hesitant and insistent at the same time, but as much as I would have liked for our first kiss to be short and sweet, I just couldn't break free. And then the groping started. His hands seemed to be everywhere all at once, squeezing and pawing, but they seemed most particularly intent on determining whether my bra was a front-hook (it was). I couldn't believe it; within seconds of our first kiss, this guy was going for my boob, in a public park. At 34, shouldn't he know better? After I finally extricated myself, he mentioned the possibility of "heading over to Porter Square," (where he just so happened to live) but I politely excused myself and went home.
First kisses mean nothing, I tried to tell myself. I reminded myself that with a certain ex-boyfriend, an awkward (and coffee and cigarette-tinged) and quite frankly unpleasant first kiss developed into a three year relationship, wherein we frequently congratulated each other on what awesome kissers we were. And it was true; as much as it pains me to reminisce about it now, the kissing really was damn good. It just takes time, I tried to tell myself. But the groping...well, something will have to be done about that. Maybe if I hold his hands while kissing...But yes, I would go out with him again, I decided. There was potential there. But first things first...
Two days later, cut to Christina's ice cream shop with Ben, a 25 year-old, 6'3" grad student/engineer. While at first he seemed not entirely my type, he was tall, interesting, and had a great, deep voice (I'm a sucker for a deep voice). We talked for hours, until we were the only people left at Christina's, and once we looked up we realized that the employees were mopping the floors around us. We left and went for a walk, in the general direction of my house. We started out walking at a normal pace, but it seemed like Ben was walking gradually slower and slower. Is it because he doesn't want this to end? I wondered. I found myself thinking that, while he was younger, and not exactly my type, I could really see myself liking him. He was so full of energy, and ideas, and youthful enthusiasm. Plus, he paid for my ice cream, and he actually said, "I don't think chivalry is dead." Well...ok! We reached my house, and I made some joke about how you can always tell who the renters are, because the yard is full of weeds (seriously, so embarassing, I could barely get to the front door through the overgrown bushes). After a confusing discussion regarding who would call who (he said I should call "if I was interested." Does that mean he's not interested?), he said, "So, do I get a good night kiss?"
"What?" I said. (I was pretty sure that was what he said, but that is one thing you do not want to misunderstand). He repeated the question, but I was flustered by the seemingly inordinate number of cars going by on my normally quiet street, and the headlights in my eyes and the overwhelming possibility of the moment. I must have hesitated because he took me hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed it. "Ok, have a good night," he said. "Well, let me give you a hug," I said, and I did. Not one to let the moment get away, I lingered, our lips drew close and...we kissed. And it was amazing. It was slow, it was soft, it was not too short and not too long. "Have a really good night," I said. And I swear, I went inside, closed the door, and giggled. Seriously! I giggled. I floated upstairs. "How was it?" my roommate asked. And I giggled again, I couldn't even help it. "It was gooood." I said. "We kissed! And he wasn't even gropey!"
That night it took me hours to fall asleep; I kept replaying the kiss over and over again in my head. And again the next day, while sitting in front of the computer at work, and the next day too; it was that good. Every time I thought about it, my stomach would flutter, and the only way I can describe it is like throwing up, if throwing up was fun. Kind of...pleasantly nauseous.
All I can say is, oh, what a difference a kiss makes.