I won’t deny it; I am unable to escape the shadow of my kissing prowess. As one of the great smoochers on this planet I can say there is no better way to communicate an emotion than a meaningful kiss. They don’t even have to be long, wet, sloppy kisses (although those are crazy fun, too). It can be an innocuous little peck on the cheek, but it must be given at the proper time, another part of the equation.
Unless it is a consolable affair like a wake or a funeral, no place for kissing otherwise.
It has been six decades since I started playing the Kissing Game. If memory serves me (it ALWAYS serves me, but just like a real server, it has its good days and…) my very first meaningful kiss was from my second-grade girlfriend, let’s call her Sheila.
I remember growing up way too fast for my own good, but certainly light years faster than typical second-graders.
We were at a Japanese bakery in the outskirts of Kyoto. With fifty second and third-graders screaming their heads off and being so typically rude and neglectful of proper behaviour, I had to find a way to get close to the absolute love of my life and Sheila didn’t even have a clue.
They walked us in groups around the enormous machines that were kneading huge amounts of dough as we screamed and generally frayed the nerves of our well-meaning escorts.
The whole time I am thinking how can I get a kiss from Sheila? Not IF I could kiss her. Heck, if I wanted to do that, I could just walk up and plant one on her. No, I wanted for her to kiss me back without solicitation. I am sure when I was thinking, I wasn’t using terms like solicitation.
I was seven years-old.
So, after spending one hour and forty-seven minutes touring the bakery and getting to munch down on some of the sweeter treats the bakery also produced (that’s right, what do you give a hundred screaming unruly kids?)
As we left the bakery, the employees all came out and we had some sort of alliance ceremony. Sometimes I have to remember that this was less than twenty years after the bombs dropped we dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Mom would not let us go to those cities when we lived in Japan. Probably a smart move. Having some US Air Force kids running around this defiled, sacred ground.
I didn’t know.
So we get back to school and the busses have emptied us at the Air Force base and I am running out of time.
My smooth plans have fallen apart and it looks like it will have to be some other time.
I see my parents pull up to the curb.
I feel a tug on my shoulder.
I turn around and before I could speak, Sheila is kissing me like no tomorrow.
“I’ve wanted to do that all day”, she said.
I guess when I tried to unleash my tongue, she freaked out and truncated our smooch.
But it was done.
SHE kissed ME.
That’s what I’m talkin’ about.