Ah, to Be Young, Able
& Never Been Kissed
Many people have about only a few things in mind while living. There’s an entire multicultural, multilingual literature about at least two of them; we’re not getting into that, though. But most do think about their first kiss ever so often. As it turns out, they’re a dying breed.
Never Been Kissed, a study published on the Archives of Sexual Behavior, reveals that almost a hundred out of 700 college students, never touched the lips of another human with their own, which would startle any card-carrying Baby Boomer, other studies being considered.
Reportedly, the Sex Revolution old devils seem to be still pretty much at it, and what comes before and after it, even as they push their 70s. Not so for 14.2% of an already hyper-battered Millennials demographics, focus of the small sample. Is there something on their WiFi reception?
From time immemorial, the thrill of the first time at various initiation rites was a form of incentive for growing up. Generations born on the 20 century simply couldn’t wait to have their first driver’s license, for instance, or spending their first night away from their parents’ home.
Many a first baby born out of a Saturday’s night fever, regrettably or not, was also a result of a first, intense, passionate kiss. Does it mean that, without such tricky but irresistible first step, future population volumes are at risk? They seem to be concerned about that in Japan.
A few things about the Never Been Kissed, the study, not the movie: they are all excellent students, maybe because they drink less than others; have overbearing moms; are neurotic; and with lower self esteem. Truly a small sample of a very boring group of people, indeed.
Bias aside, to most people, memories from their first kiss, if it happened before maturity, tend to be sweet or, if not traumatic, served well to everything that came after. To us, it brought up that time at a certain front porch, and the story we wrote about it. Below, our humble contribution to such an endearing theme.
Laura & the
At 12, he fell in love with Laura. She had braids and freckles, and he’d trace her soft step across the school. He’d follow her closely but without being noticed. Or so he thought. One day, he turned a corner and came face to face with her. He thought she’d never noticed him, but she was very aware of his existence.
He looked into those deep eyes, intensely black, and awkwardly, their faces blushed. A few Saturdays later, they met at the veranda of his house, as planned. Not knowing what to do of this magnet that had brought them together, at the sunset of their childhood, they talked a little. After a silent pause, they went down to the narrow hallway, between the house and the ivy-covered wall, and kissed.
Once. Twice. A few more times, then back to the porch, flushed and slightly moist. They tried to talk a bit, but had to go again, hands in hands and racing hearts. They kissed dozens of times. A record. He’d never kissed anyone in the mouth before. Still, those were innocent kisses, sweet, the kind you’d plant on a baby’s cheeks. Or that nannies place on the forehead of their zany grand kids.
Back at the porch, people passed by, workers headed home. Night was falling and a miracle was privy only to them. Everything was so new, hearts coming out of their mouths. Again and again, lip tastings below the ivy, but tongues asleep, resting quietly on their beds. Not yet time to open up curtains to the vertigo of lust. Little kisses. That was all.
They smiled goodbyes, each knowing that they’d found a precious gem, but unsure whether to tell the world about it or to keep it (more)
* Late November
* Half Past Child
* Hot Lips
private. But he couldn’t hold it, told his best friend, and his treasure slipped. His friend told his buddy, and the other shared it with others. Best friends have their own best, not always us. He spent the weekend thinking about her, while their secret was making the rounds.
Since Monday was a holiday, he only got back to school on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, that was already the talk of the class. The bunnies were all out of the sack, running all over. Thursday, he wondered why Laura wouldn’t talk to him. On Friday, he heard his mates laughing; shouldn’t have asked them why. His best friend had beaten his record, he heard. With Laura. Who was now his. And the messenger walked away.
What did he mean? Did she tell him? Not possible. They hadn’t set anything up, though, on whether hide it or confess it to the world. But what did the world have to do with that shot of paradise they’d injected each other with? Oh, he remembered, I told my friend. Did he?… Before long, a copious, barren, dirty reality inundated his thoughts like a flood.
The bitter tide kept on rising. That precious moment being exposed to public mockery and humiliation was simply unbearable. The times he did get to approach her, she turned him down, couldn’t talk, or had to run home, or something. His heart was sinking when the school bell rang. He turned back but she had already disappeared from class.
He ran through the hallways searching for her, asking anyone if they had seen her, but that soon became hard, as he noticed the malicious half smile on everyone’s faces. They were laughing at him, no doubt. So what? His mind was already out, planning on passing by her house later. I’d get down to my knees if I have to, he was thinking when, from the main school entrance, he saw her. And his friend.
Far away, across the football field, he could see them both walking, his arm around her. A tightening gripped his throat: he had lost Laura. An abyss stared back at him, that spicy taste of loss in the mouth. All now burning in a bonfire. His belly ached, he gagged to vomit. The speeding meteor of his heart had just blown up to smithereens against a wall.
The way home never looked so far, each step heavier, that nausea of losing something even before knowing what. The unhappiest boy of the planet. Like a black hole, his turmoil devoured everything around, the street, sidewalks, homes where other boys were surely luckier than him. Life wasn’t worthy living, he thought, what a huge waste. How come I never noticed that before? he kept asking himself.
For a while, revenge took over him, and how easy the most terrible visions would materialize, ready to be act upon, and how weak his will to refuse them. In such a feverish state, he was the hero others admired for punishing those phonies who betrayed him. Then, he was a weeping clown, surrounded by laughing pigs, the whole wide world having the best of times on the account of his tragedy.
A soothing vision, however, popped up on his mind, immediately calming him down and transporting him to a parallel dimension: Laura was in fact waiting for him at his house, her deep eyes searching for him on the streets. Yes, she must be there, anxious to explain herself. He pressed his pace without noticing, his heartbeat sounding like a thunder, the mouth overly dried of so much apprehension.
Trees, cars, faces passing him by all like a big dark cloud, moving alongside him, keeping pace with his speed ever more rushed, with no time to think, no time to breathe, only stepping hard and fast, and holding tight to his heart to not let it jump out of his chest. It must be it, she is there, regretting the whole thing and realizing how miserable I probably was, and had come to rescue me from my fears.
He tried to figure what lame excuse she used to get rid of that two-timer friend of his, telling him, oh, I’m tired, no, we’re not kissing ever again, all along thinking how much better had been the first time, with him. She couldn’t have forgotten, no one forgets those things, right? He turned the block of his home, running towards that veranda on the other side of the street, where he’d been so happy.
For sure, Laura couldn’t wait to apologize, and kiss him a few more times. But it didn’t matter how many; not with the excellent tips he’d learned on a magazine. Nothing too fancy. Like the article advised, the point was not to do anything, just to exude the kind of self-confidence that only someone who’s experienced this sort of thing would have. She’d be impressed, she’d certainly love all of it.
Is that how you love someone? Feeling an upheaval inside, the terror, an urge to reach a state impossible to get used to? He pictured them together, like someone looking at them on a park, and smiled sweetly, glad. Yes, we make up a beautiful couple, she matches my style, I complete her figure, he thought, about to cross the street.
He took another look at that veranda. Behind his mom’s rose trees, was that Laura? Was it her yellow dress with little red flowers, so lively, so her? He still couldn’t yet see the whole front of the house, neither her oh so perfect face, he realized then, all on its perfect place, so he stepped aside, it must be her behind the foliage, ready to shelter him, a little bit more to the side, and BOOOOOOMMMM!
He didn’t see the bus approaching, the driver with no time to break to avoid the impact. The loud thump launched his body through the air, and while flying head first towards that porch where he’d been so happy, he saw Laura, beautiful but shocked on the front seat, next to his ex-friend, both following his trajectory through space, like a shooting start fast traveling to oblivion.