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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Three Kisses

My memories fascinate me. I think that, in large part, it’s due to the fact that so many of my family have suffered and died from Alzheimer’s. I fear that my memories will disappear soon enough as well. I continuously plumb the depths of my mind to explore the imagery that still lingers.

Last week (to my great delight) I discovered that I distinctly remember my first meeting with each of my closest friends. I found that comforting. I then tried to recall my first kiss. Sad to say, I came up empty. I was rather surprised by that. One would think that a first kiss would be a transcendent experience, forever captured in the mind’s eye. Apparently, mine was not.

My lips have enjoyed their fair share of kisses. Alas, most are lost to me now. Only three vivid kisses remain:

I was nineteen, sitting on the floor at the Student Union, enjoying a free concert courtesy of some long-forgotten band. A woman (fertile child, really) I had spied once at a distance came up to me and cradled my face in her hands. She leaned down and kissed me...hard. Her lips were ravenous. I was stunned...struck dumb. It was as if a lightning bolt had burst from the heart of a clear summer sky. She thrust her tongue into my gaping mouth. My synapses crackled and smoked. Although I had lost my virginity several years earlier, I still considered females to be exotic, exquisitely mysterious creatures. In this one explosive moment, I realized I understood nothing at all about the “fairer sex” (I still don't, and I doubt I ever will). I knew that I would let her have her way with me. She did.

“ spinning, swinging madly ‘round a rising, falling sun...”

We stood in the vestibule...two badly wounded hearts. She and I had talked on the phone many times, for many hours. We had dined together on several occasions and spent long evenings conversing. The hour was late. It was time to say good night. I reached to kiss her. Her lips were full and moist. She clutched me closer, pressing her body into mine. It’s not so much the kiss that I remember (although I recall it was a fulgent experience). Rather, it was her warmth and the contours of her body that I still feel. In one brief, sublime moment I knew we would become lovers and partners. We did.

“...rains coming, disappearing (tears of sorrow, tears of rage) celestial clock ticks on...”

I pulled the car up to the hotel lobby entrance. We both knew there would be a kiss good-bye. Our lips touched. Hers were thin and strong, but the kiss was a mere whisper...the flutter of a butterfly’s wing. This kiss was followed by another...and another...and then a few more. Each kiss was a gift.

Time stood still.

She placed my hand gently upon her right breast. In that late hour, I knew my life’s trajectory had ineluctably shifted. All of my long-held assumptions crumbled and disintegrated as I was flung on a course uncharted. In that seismic moment, I knew that I would sacrifice my heart and soul and life for her.

And I did.

* * *


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