The thing about this writing challenge is that you need to have a good memory in order to complete a lot of the prompts, such as the one I'm writing about tonight, my first love and my first kiss.
I'm going to skip the childhood love thing because it would do nothing but embarrass a lot of friends I have on social media (hi Lacey and Susan!), and skip straight to what I thought my first real love was. And the only reason there is emphasis on the thought is because I don't believe it was love now, I think it was an unhealthy infatuation that taught me a lot about what love isn't.
I was fifteen and a half, and I was visiting another church. I fell for this girl named Sue*. Sue was fantastic. She was pretty, dark hair, brown eyes (I think, sorry Sue), and she was exceptionally nice and tolerant of my egregious acne problem.
So Sue and I started talking on the phone a lot, as young folks did back then (I don't mean texting, you whippersnappers), and then we progressed to "going out." I remember the first time we held hands, I remember the first time we hugged (HUGGING WAS JUST THE BEST), and I remember the first kiss.
We waited a ridiculously long time to kiss because I am a natural coward and am traditionally awful with the women-folk. And I really couldn't tell you who decided to kiss who, although I'm sure she was wondering what was wrong with her that I hadn't tried it already.
I am one hundred percent sure it was the most awkward kiss of all time, but I don't remember (sorry Sue) all the details, and it's probably good I don't. I am still terrible at kissing (sorry Alicia), and to be quite honest, don't do it enough.
So much so, that almost two years ago, I sent Alicia this email:
"For since a kiss is a knitting together both of body and soul, it is to be feared lest the sensual lover will be more inclined to the part of the body than of the soul; but the reasonable lover knows well that although the mouth be a part of the body, yet is it an issue for the words that be the interpreters of the soul, and for the inward breath, which is also called the soul; and therefore hath a delight to join his mouth with the woman's beloved with a kiss, not to stir him to any unhonest desire, but because he feeleth that that bond is the opening of an entry to the souls, which, drawn with a coveting the one of the other, pour themselves by turn the one into the other's body, and be so mingled together that each of them hath two souls, and one alone, so framed of them both, ruleth, in a manner, two bodies. Whereupon a kiss may be said to be rather a coupling together of the soul than of the body, because it hath such force in her that it draweth her unto it, and, as it were, separates her from the body." — Castiglione, "The Courtier"
I know that's a difficult read, but I hope you stuck with it, because I'm very glad I did. It took me reading a section of literature 485 years old to realize something this morning.
I've completely lost focus on how important kissing you is.
In my mind, over the years, I've associated kissing with foreplay, and foreplay with sex, and I've stopped thinking of it as a simple reassurance that I love you and I desire a connection other than sexual. I can remember kissing you every morning when I woke up next to you, and every night before we went to bed, and I can't even remember why or when that stopped.
I've made it my personal goal today to start kissing you more. When you least expect it, when you most expect it, at home, in public, whenever or wherever I get the urge. Not passionate kissing, just a peck on the lips, and hopefully a joining of our souls.
I love you, and I'm sorry for forgetting that a kiss, just a simple kiss, can knit together bodies and souls at the same time.
"What do you want to be married to me for, anyhow?"
"So I can kiss you anytime I want."
You see how I started with a quote from a half-millennium-year-old text and ended with a Reece Witherspoon quote? Yep. My email game is solid.
A couple of things I do remember very well about my time dating Sue is the time she slapped me for saying a curse word when I curbed my car, and then the greatest line I've ever delivered to a person of the opposite sex in all my days.
open scene, two young lovers outside in her driveway, kissing passionately
young woman breaks off the kiss and laughs
"We told my parents we were out here stargazing."
young man looks deep into his girlfriend's eyes, sure that he will capture her heart with his reply
"Baby, I am stargazing."
snorting laughter from female companion
|Kind of what I was hoping would happen. It didn't.|
Again, I learned what love isn't, I didn't learn what love was.
We dated for a year and a half and then we broke up over her going through my wallet. Real deep love, eh?
This was the girl that I swore I would marry, that I thought I was madly in love with. In all reality, she was just someone who was able to put up with me for far longer than she should have.
It took being married for at least three years before I was even capable of fully comprehending what love is.
Sue, I'm sorry for wasting your time.
Alicia, I love you.
*Name changed to protect identity (I'm friends with her on Facebook and don't wanna make it real weird).