Sunday, July 31, 2016

first kiss

Mama Warning: Rated K for Kissing.

Me, 17, a slow bloomer. A sincere nerd, in a time before the geek inherited the Earth. An out queer, in a time before Ellen. Opportunities seemed thin on the ground. Had-I-known-then-what-I-know-now and so on. Never been kissed.

Jenn, closest friend and bad influence, thank goodness. My age but "worldly." Spent a lot of time in college dorms with older friends, and the rest of her time with me. By then she'd been thrown out by her mom and I somehow convinced my own saintly and remarkable parents to take her in temporarily. More about that another time, huh? Much more importantly to Past Hank, Jenn'd been exiled from home in part for being bisexual, making her one of maybe three women my age even theoretically approachable.

Thankfully, I'm old to have really been online in my teens. All that terrible poetry, gone. You can't even imagine. There's no sexual tension like teenage queer sexual tension.

My folks went to Mexico and left Granny to mind the four of us. (Poor Granny.)

Jenn and I always went to the library downtown, as allowed, and wound up in Old City Cemetery, down the hill, on a grave for a girl named Jenny. Comfortable, semi-hidden, and she felt a name-based kinship to the occupant. We'd been touching each other all day, as accidentally as possible. At school, sitting on the same step in a back stairway with a few other outcasts. Fingers brushing knees in class. Kept my hair shaved down to velvet then, and her hands reached to stroke it when I stood near. In the graveyard, in the October sun, leaned up against a double headstone, shoulder to shoulder. Did I kiss her then? No.

Back to the house. The third floor belonged to teenagers. One long room, like a karate studio, the length of the house. Cut into three with a pair of massive bookshelves and sheets haphazardly strung for privacy. My chunk had no windows and was papered in pictures, few over palm size, cut from magazines. May was somewhere? doing much worse things, I'm sure. She ran with a fast crowd. I was jealous.

Jenn'd done this before, and bless her for it. I was so nervous I had electricity crawling around under my skin. She asked for a backrub. I do give a pretty good backrub. She turned over and kissed me. No rush at all. One hand on the back of my neck, one on my side, on my bare skin. She bit my lip hard enough to make me whine.

We did more than night, but it's fainter and fuzzier and further away.

By the way, tonight's date went well.

25 comments:

  1. The intensity of early exploration is amazing . Glad you had a good date .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny which kisses you remember.

      Delete
  2. I recently came across handwritten hard copies of that queer teenage sexual tension poetry of yours... not all lost to a time before the internet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. was debating sending the notebook your way along with the patches I still haven't sent
      ps: you signed each one

      Delete
  3. Wonderful writing, you caught something that is pretty hard to describe with words. Made me remember things I'd forgotten - not sure if that is good or bad...
    And yea!! for the date!

    ReplyDelete
  4. man, you need to write a book, and have it be about you and the tally scene. it would be so good.

    xxalainaxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'll be telling those stories on here, for a start.

      Delete
  5. Beautifully evocative. I wonder can any adult kiss really equal the intensity of those early chemistry fuelled experiences? I don't know, youth is so intoxicating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adult kisses are different. You know what you want and where it's going. You can linger.

      Delete
  6. Awww! This is so sweet and innocent. I love it. Is your first kiss still in your life?

    My first kiss was in grade 7. His name was Warren. I remember not liking it but I really, really like him. Sadly, he committed suicide when he was 19. I still miss him and think about him every time the song, How to Save a Life comes on. I always wonder if I could have stopped him.

    I am glad your date went well! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that story went dark quickly. No, she's long gone. I have no clue where she wound up.

      Delete
    2. I was going to delete my comment after I wrote it then changed my mind. Sorry. It is dark.

      Delete
    3. You be as dark as you need to be, please.

      Delete
  7. Beautifully written Hank. Brought up a lot of memories of hiding around school and not sure I knew what I was doing. I have a question. In all the labels there are, what does "queer" mean? I mean besides gay is there another meaning? I hope this goes thru. Many of my messages won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just an umbrella term for lgbt+ without having to say all that. It was pretty well reclaimed in the 90s, but some folks still find it to be a slur. I use it a lot because I'm lazy and because I was part of the queer punk scene back in the day.

      Delete
  8. Oh God, poor Granny indeed. I got caught skipping school for the first and only time, I was out getting my heart broken. You were getting first kisses. Separated by a curtain, worlds away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't she keep a list of our transgressions?

      Delete
  9. Oh God, poor Granny indeed. I got caught skipping school for the first and only time, I was out getting my heart broken. You were getting first kisses. Separated by a curtain, worlds away.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Okay. I'm stepping in. Who cares? Yeah, Granny DID keep a list and offered to give it to me. I said, "No thanks."
    I must have been desperate to get away to leave her with y'all. That is like one thing I sort of feel bad about. For all of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I had a fine time, clearly, so no worries on my behalf.

      Delete
    2. I suppose in the greater scheme of things, keeping a list could have been worse :)

      Delete