For as far back as I can remember, I have always been mesmerized with the act of kissing. Have and will sit forever before Big Screen or cabled love stories and fall into a romance and live for the moments when the lovers reach that passionate scene, the one in which they are locked in a tight embrace, heads slowly drifting towards the other, lips slightly parted, as if they’ve waited far too long for that moment, eye lashes floating towards their cheeks—two about to engage in the allure of the magic of The Kiss.
The same magic happens when I read about lovers kissing, too. Years back, in my adolescent bedroom, no doubt like most teenage girls, I savored romances, mostly Harlequin Romances. The kissing scenes were plentiful, considering the lovemaking ones weren’t mainstays in such cut-out love stories. I will read, even now, particularly descriptive narratives of lovers kissing over and over, never failing to see myself in the scene, imagining what it feels like to be inundated in the carnal sensuality of two pairs of lips, soft and maybe moistened, gently, roughly, wantonly, imploringly, lovingly one.
Now if this was and is the situation, then why don’t I know my way up to and around The Kiss? Why don’t I know the magic of the kiss for reaching a certain level of intimacy, for cherishing the trust that says we have something here beyond the folks who never make it to this stage in a relationship? Spill the beans. What’s the 411?
I think my attitude towards kissing stems from me being raised in a family in which kissing was taboo. I don’t have memories of my parents kissing me after a certain age, and that age must have been incredibly young, because I am scraping the bottom of my memory bank trying to remember. I don’t recall my parents demonstrating affection in the way of kisses and hugs and playful pats and love taps. Could it have been my parents’ generation? Could it have been my grandparents didn’t kiss nor show affection in the home?
Whatever the situation, my father had difficulty allowing himself to relax when he entered our house after a grueling day on the road, trucking. He seemed wired, constantly. But what he had ample time to do, around the clock, was discipline my four siblings and me, either after my mother articulated a list of things we didn’t do or wouldn’t do during the day or, heaven forbid, after he caught us committing an infraction while he was in the house…and now that I think about it…that was almost never. My mother didn’t whip, only reported the news (including what teachers said during PTSA’s) and saved that chore for him. And my father administered the whipping, as if a lottery ticket existed somewhere that counted on him to win Connecticut’s Best Father Sweepstakes by behaving like he didn’t recognize us when we did something that was deemed a sin at 13 Wood Street. He’d unbuckle his thick black leather strap of a belt from around his waist and grasp you about your wrist and dangle you from one massive arm and spank the daylights from you! Usually, my mother couldn’t last through the whippings. Long before the whelps rose along your legs or across your behind, she’d end up cringing and imploring him to stop, shouting that we’d had enough.
No, I am not a product of an abusive home by any means. And most importantly, no, I am not emotionally scarred. Undoubtedly, my father set store by corporal punishment and to the tune of not wanting to know of any other punishment for his children. Where did he learn it? His mother, my darling Grandma Moss, whom I cannot recall ever whipping us, but who, purportedly, spanked my father and his two brothers. Guess it’s that ole “she softened with age” syndrome. Like my much-younger brothers and sister not being treated to the same hide-tanning we enjoyed, not to mention they got away with more than we’d EVER have been allowed to get away with and yet live unthrottled.
Am I bitter? Nope. I am reflecting on where I think my disinterest in the physical act of kissing had its beginnings. Now add to the above scenario the rigid ban on contact with the opposite sex for what felt like an eternity and you have the frothy formula for a classic case of learning to sidestep true intimacy. “I better not hear about you kissing boys! I don’t send you to school to look at boys! You’d better not come in here pregnant! You do and you are getting out!” These were refrains that I commonly heard daily. They slipped into my head and infected my heart with a virus that kept me to myself through a red-carpet of relationships, in which I could advance but so far, before I was spinning 360 degrees, expeditiously heading out the door through which I’d just sashayed.
Therefore, I can be where I am today, a late bloomer, well beyond the typical late, swinging wide my front door in the WILLINGNESS to know what it means to kiss and kiss passionately and, thus, love and love deeper than I’ve ever allowed, permitted myself to love and be loved before.
What might have tossed salt into the wound and pumped air onto the flame was having a mate, who got a kick out of pissing me off with sloppy, annoyingly wet kisses, tongue trailing globs of spit across my lips. I yet shiver from the memory! And since I’m cleaning my kissing closet of staid memories here, I may as well say Halitosis can turn a reluctant kisser into a staunch non-kisser! While reading a reader’s response on the subject of kissing on one of my favorite creative writing websites, I marvelled at her saying she had to kiss someone with a clean, healthy mouth, inclusive of wholesome teeth. Yessss! Love it! But never got that far, as I always shut kissing down based on my early years and a much earlier mate whose kisses left me in the middle of the floor, cringing. But I loved another part from that sister/reader. She said she needed to have a lover with great lips, soft lips, with which she could work.
Today, in 2010, I WANT to know the beauty of The Kiss. I want to know the softness of lips not only on my lips, but also—as others on the aforementioned website said—lips that kiss the various places on my body that lips can feel so divinely, so deliciously kissing. I want to trust somebody to take me, to guide me, to teach me about this sweetly, sacredly bonding act. I will know arousal, not only in fingertips, but in the visceral fire that can burn under the skin when lips brand and sear. I am curious about the communiques in kisses. What can they say? “You mean more to me than I can ever say? Than what I haven’t said? I could stay right here, kissing you forever. There is nobody but you. Your kisses are golden. Kissing you captures the breathlessness of my first kiss.”
In earnest, I want my lips to go numb from kissing. I want to compare that first kiss with the one hours later, when our lips, stopping for air, shocks me that they aren’t intrinsically connected. I want to miss her kiss when she leaves and dream about it until she returns. I want to imagine its sweetness, eyes closed to plunge deeper into the expectation before the actual meeting of kissed bliss. I want to intimately KNOW her lips so well I can discern them behind a bandanna in a circle of Spin the Bottle kissers. In short, my tongue will dance a centuries-old dance and follow another’s skillful, sensual, teasing, tantalizing tongue into a Lover’s Paradise.
The Golden Goddess
January 19, 2010