I do not remember the occasion of my first kiss. Not the FIRST kiss (eminently forgettable) but THE first kiss. He said that he did and that it was a moment of triumph. A successful conclusion to a long campaign – a transition point to romance as it were. I cannot remember this moment. Instead, I recall all the kisses that followed and there were were many. By his estimate, at least a hundred or more kissing occasions. That’s a lot of kisses. Perhaps not remembering the beginning makes it seem unending. For years later, I could taste him if I just closed my eyes and inhaled. Especially his neck. He had a beautifully shaped mouth. One that knew how to kiss just so. Even today, a sense of languor steals over me when I think about it. I can feel the tip of his tongue touch my teeth ever so gently and then stroke the inside of my lips like a brush. The weight of the moment suspending time it seemed. The act of kissing is terrific but being kissed is divine.
All this smooching took place under the cover of darkness beneath a covered bicycle stand. There was nothing tawdry about it but it was definitely furtive. For many complicated environmental reasons.We sat there many nights talking and kissing in equal parts. There seemed to be an unspoken order of events that mandated conversation first. Our time together was mainly in this unlikely setting. With each kiss, I slipped a little further. Then, he left. And took with him more of me that he realized. Or I.
Soon enough, I did kiss again. Was kissed again. A traitorous note of comparison always registered unbidden. My kissing preferences had definitely been shaped and I had opinions – an initial gambit of a wet and open-mouthed kiss was a deal breaker and sticking tongues in ears was a non-starter. Ears as erogenous zones seem apocryphal. Necks on the other hand…though other necks did not taste right. So, I stopped tasting them. There is a correlation between a well shaped mouth and how it kisses. In one unfortunate relationship, I failed to attend this detail (amongst many others) and could have saved myself a lot of grief. Then there was a gorgeous boy whose kissing technique could not be faulted but he didn’t smell right. It didn’t last much longer though I did become a better kisser.
I think of those first kisses each time the night is warm and the moon full. Wistfully, I hope he thinks about them occasionally too.