“‘Anne? What’s so special about the way that lad kisses?’
Anne looked dreamy, then dimpled, ‘You should have tried it.’
‘I’m too old to change. But I’m interested in everything about the boy. Is this something different?’
Anne pondered it. ‘Yes.’
‘Mike gives a kiss his whole attention’
‘Oh, rats! I do myself. Or did.’
Anne shook her head. ‘No, I’ve been kissed by men who did a very good job. But they don’t give kissing their whole attention. They can’t. No matter how hard they try parts of their minds are on something else. Missing the last bus – or their chances of making the gal – or their own techniques in kissing – or maybe they worry about jobs, or money, or will husband or papa or the neighbors catch on. Mike doesn’t have technique … but when Mike kisses you he isn’t doing anything else. You’re his whole universe … and the moment is eternal because he doesn’t have any plans and isn’t going anywhere. Just kissing you.’ She shivered. ‘It’s overwhelming.”
-Robert Heinlein, Stranger In A Strange Land
I’m making my way very slowly through a reread of this novel which I haven’t read since high school. My eye isn’t as critical, so this is definitely just for fun. I don’t know that I reacted to the above passage quite the same way when I was 17 years old, but boy, this excerpt does carry a lot more meaning now that I … now that I … well.
My last kiss was three years ago, June 30 – July 1. If you want to get technical, it was July 1, since there was a lot of kissing going on in those five or maybe six hours, and the very last one happened just after six in the morning. A kiss goodbye, outside of his building, before I hopped on the train back home.
Mom, are you still reading?
It’s hard to believe I remember so much of this. It was a long time ago, and a lot of details are still quite vivid. Quite. I mean, quite.
That, on top of being the last person I kissed, the fellow set some pretty high standards for the next guys I will kiss. Guys, May? Isn’t that a bit presumptuous? Like my midlife crisis is quickly approaching and I’ll have to go on some kissing rampage? Like the well has gone SO dry that I must replenish it with as many lips as will accept me? (Because SO many will accept me?) Maybe we’ll just start with one. Singular. At a time. Guy. Much better.
I mean, the dude from that sultry, summer evening in 2006, and the quote from Stranger In A Strange Land made me realize how much I miss kissing.
I miss kissing.
Let’s just call this guy from three years ago “Hot Man.” He was pretty … focused. And hot. More than the previous guys I kissed. Let’s call these previous guys “little boys.”
Maybe some people make rules, whereas other people have expectations. I thought I had rules, like ones about breath and not kissing on the first date, and the one about breath still is in force, but the one about the first date was never really a “firm rule.” And expectations? Well, let’s just say they were blown out of the water.
I’ve never really had someone focus on me so much as Hot Man. He really made it a point to kiss me perfectly.
And, I mean, perfectly.
Hot Man and Mike from the book are similar in that level of concentration. And yet, like any earthling male, it was apparent Hot Man had other things on his mind.
Which we never got to. Not really, anyway. Not really-really.
I am sure clearing my throat a lot while typing this.
I can’t talk about Hot Man, except that he is hot, and he, indeed, is a man.
Sometimes in the summertime, I like to go walking in my neighborhood park and look at all the pretty flowers and if I catch the sunset, I’ll just sit on a bench and contemplate the day or maybe life in general and the birds start singing their night songs and the cooling air tempers my skin and for some reason I wonder what’s for dinner. Will it be a sandwich? or salad? just plain toast? or maybe some chicken and rice? and what about vegetables? is it a dessert night? What kind of dessert? cookies, most likely. Cookies! But then, what kind(s)? The possibilities are endless. Cookies are so awesome. They’re my favorite. I can never turn down a cookie.
Where was I? – Oh! Yes! Rules and/or Expectations:
So, there’s eye contact and smiling but not the jolly smiling but the we-know-we’re-going-to-kiss smiling and not too much pressure from his lips to mine but just enough and a little bit more pressure and it’s just enough too and not always on my mouth but maybe on the neck behind the ears and down to the collarbone and more smiling but this time it’s the we’re-glad-to-be-kissing smiling and playing with hair and his strong hands holding me close and my face brushing against his scruff and coming up for breath and my heart pounding and my knees buckling (not that I would be standing for that long anyway, or at all) and him noticing and smiling as he leans in again and my having no choice but to let him because I can’t imagine not letting him and panting all sorts of panting just from kissing with soft lips and deft tongues and intensity and jumping energy levels and Hot Man never hurrying and never rushing but always sustaining the moment and building it until I can’t take it anymore and have to walk out of the building which happens to be five or maybe six hours later.
One six-hour moment.
Mom, if you’re still reading? You can open your other eye now. And unclutch your pearls.
And anyone else, for that matter.
Thank you, Hot Man.
Can anyone else live up to that? Measure up? Would I actually want that again? What is the point of these 900 words? Why would I go on and on and on about something if it weren’t in any way significant or fun or an incredible thrill or a relatively private matter that makes it that much more worth sharing even if it happened over three years ago? Why would I risk minor embarrassment and disclose a few non-specifics even if I felt no one else would benefit from it? Why would I relive that experience this way?
Why wouldn’t I?
I miss it.