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A kiss to remember

I was trying to think of happy moments in my life. Actually, this is the beginning of the story, so I was trying to think of happy moments in my childhood. For some strange reason the not so happy moments are the ones that have the strongest impression. I can think of an endless line of unhappy moments but it's hard for me to think of happy ones. Of course, I was happy. I remember snippets of that happiness. The first pet I ever had was a mixed German Shepherd and Husky. Maybe that's what my mom's boyfriend told us. The dog seemed more mutt than German Shepherd and Husky. Still, he was very happy dog who used to love to play with us. His favorite game was to run away and wait for us to try and catch him. There was a big grassy field behind the school that we used to play in. We played that game of tag for hours and hours. He never got tired of it and neither did I. The dog was a gift from my mother's boyfriend. He tried to make her happy by making us happy. I have to stop here because neither of these stories ends very well and this is a post about happy memories. So, let me talk about another memory.

I think I was about 13 or 14 years old and there was a girl who lived next door named Sue Ellen. This is so corny now, but I remember in the middle of the summer digging a hole in the yard for some reason or another with a shovel. I was wearing a tank top and imagining myself as some musclebound hunk glistening sweaty in the sun from all the hard work I was doing. That's how I want it to seem to my neighbor anyway. She took the bait and came over to talk to me. I could tell by her body language that she was kind of shy and excited at the same time. After that we became good friends. I also became friends with her brothers. I watched an awful lot of Kung Fu movies when I was a child. Sometimes I used to practice fake Kung Fu by myself. My weapon of choice was the staff. I had gotten quite good at twirling it around in a sort of Kung Fu way. Sue Ellen's brothers were thoroughly impressed and wanted me to teach them how to do it. We used to spend hours laughing in the backyard and twirling our sticks. I didn't have shoes then. The ones I had rotted away to nothingness. I remember walking on the sharp gravel in my bare feet just to see another glimpse of her. My soles hurt but I really didn't feel any pain.

I remember the first time I kissed Sue Ellen. Her lips were soft and wet. I remember thinking that it had the feeling of a grape skin that had been flipped inside out. When you eat grapes after this, try touching your lips to the reversed skin and you'll see what I mean. When people talk about doing heroin and chasing after that feeling of the first high, I can understand it now. That first kiss was like my first high. I wanted more. Eventually we would kiss each other every chance we got , in the garage , behind the house , and any place where our parents weren't looking. We used to also spend summer days on the porch listening to music. We both loved the funk sounds of Roger Troutman and the Zap band. Sue Ellen would go on and on about how this person was looking cool that person was looking not so cool. She was full of the neighborhood gossip and all the complaints that a disgruntled teenager might have about their parents. I honestly never heard any of it because all I could think about was the time we rolled in the grass laughing our heads off until we were lost in a kiss.

There's something so beautiful and pure about that moment. She wasn't the first person that I had kissed. Years before that I found myself in the backyard behind the garage with a girl who's probably too fast for her age. She wanted to kiss someone, and I was there. It didn't have the same magic. Probably because I was too young to even understand what it meant to feel anything about it. With Sue Ellen, I caught that spark , the electricity that moves through your body to short circuit your brain for just a few seconds, long enough to freeze time for almost an eternity so that you can savor every sensation. For a while, it was the happiest times of my life.


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