Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On Kissing

It is a dark and chill morning. The Smackdown is raging across the silent miles. I am determined to beat my demons and shed pounds like they’re clumps of steaming manure clinging to my rock-hard physique. I run around the neighborhood, enjoying the quiet and dark. I’m walking less and running more. I like it. Grace, the shedding white mutt (SWM) is jogging next to me. The cold stings but I grasp for breath hungrily. I tell myself this is way better than running in the heat, which, I’m told, can be like breathing a milkshake (which is cold, but really really thick).

I return to my driveway, slowing to a walk. Grace is happy to be home; She’s happy everywhere. I tell her to wipe her paws on the scrap of carpet, and we enter. I trot downstairs to continue my workout with the ultra douchey but surprisingly fun Exerball. I roll it under my feet to do pushups, completing 45 with ease. I noticed that it took much effort to do this last month. I roll over and begin combo-crunches, where I lift my legs and arms together, touching the ball to my knees and raising my shoulders as high as I can off the floor. A shadow falls across my face, then the light touch of Mrs. Spiffy’s long auburn hair. I receive a light kiss, with a little tongue. From the side. Jealous dog had included herself in the brief romantic interlude, completely altering the mood.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about kissing. Bad kissing, in particular. Which is something I try studiously to avoid.

I got married young at 20 years old. We both moved from our parents’ homes into our own. We had both our kids (one of whom is now pretending to be a dolphin) by 23. Between the ages of 16 and 19, there was much dating that went on for me. Not so much as some people, but still, enough to know that some girls could really kiss, and others were born to breed cattle. Or something, anything not remotely romantic.

When I take an inventory, it seems I have a penchant for girls with names starting with the letter ‘K’. Kathy (a girl of many ‘firsts’), Kelly (broke my heart), Kim (my crush from across the street with the killer perfume), Kristin (saving herself for her true love, but amusing herself with me), and Kerry (so much potential). There were also girls such as Cheryl, my first real girlfriend, and Sherri, one of my grade-school sweethearts who turned me down as her homecoming date. I never asked a girl out again after that (at least, not directly). There was Becky, the perky redheaded stalker (we smooched a few times and I was soon hearing from her friends that we were to be married after high school). But my sweet, affectionate doggy reminded me of a particular young lady I’ll call Agnes.

Agnes was a preacher’s daughter. We were the same age, and shared interests in music and movies. Plus, we happened to live in the same city. We began spending time together, watching videos and talking on the phone. After several weeks of friendly hanging out and conversation, we found ourselves alone in her parents’ basement watching a video. We were sitting dangerously close. She looked at me with her big brown eyes and smiled nervously. I nervously smiled back. There were several minutes of this nervous nonsense while the movie droned on (you may have noticed by now, I am an idiot, and immune to subtlety). She said, “You wanna make out?” Finally. I thought she’d never ask.

I leaned in, aiming for her lips. She leaned back, making it hard to reach. I steadied myself on the arm of the couch across from her and stretched my lips. Agnes nearly closed her eyes. Squinted, really. At last our lips met. I kissed. She did her best to mimic a landed trout (but without the thrashing). I tried again. This time it was like mashing my lips against a head of wet cabbage. I persisted, assuring myself it won’t be that bad once we warm up to each other. However, I was steadily losing any appetite and fearing the loss of my lunch. It became clear that she was not skilled in working the muscles on her face, and I mumbled something about having to change the air in my tires. I bounded up the stairs, out into the harsh sunlight, and roared out of the driveway in my soon-to-be-sexy muscle car. I frantically searched the glove box for some sandpaper to get the crawling sensation off my lips.

Her mother began calling me that night. “What did you DO to my daughter?” she demanded. Twice, sometimes thrice a day she called for about two weeks. Poor Agnes didn’t know why I stopped calling or visiting, and was apparently upset. I felt horrible, but the Soviet army couldn’t have gotten me into that basement ever again.

What about you? Any worst-kiss-ever stories?


Rick said...

Damn, I never met a preacher's kid (and I was attracted to them the way you were attracted to "K's")... who couldn't blow my, uh, mind. I think you just met Agnes a little too early.

kenju said...

Now you've done it. I have been a kiss connoisseur since the age of 12 (although my heavy practicing of it stopped about 20 years ago...LOL) In high school, I dated a guy mainly because he had a convertible Jaguar, one of those little tiny ones in British Racing Green. It made my heart skip a beat every time I saw it. This guy was the genius of the school; the boy who didn't have to take final exams because he had straight A+ all the way through school. My mom loved him! (It figures, doesn't it?) I didn't want to admit to her that the only reason I went out with him was to ride in that excellent car. We went out a few times, and I was genuinely attracted to his mind. All the kids thought he was a geek, but he was just shy and not too good at social interaction in groups. Okay, came the night he decided to kiss me. I leaned in for it, and it was like kissing a grouper while under water. I had to decide rather quickly if that kiss was worth the ride in the car - and it wasn't. I seldom went out with him after that, and I always found an excuse not to kiss him. Makes me sad now - I could have perhaps taught him what he needed to know about kissing. A missed opportunity, I suppose.

kenju said...

Uh, sorry for writing a whole post in your comments.