The stories of first kisses had being plentiful, I shall relate the tale of a first kiss given.

We'd met, as people do, through a mutual friend. She was a shy, captivating, beautiful, intelligent young woman (not to speak of her only in the past tense... she still is captivating and intelligent, though less shy and more beautiful because of it), and I was immediately smitten.

But it was a slow simmer of a smit. I only saw her when invited to her place by said mutual friend. She was, as were they all, really his friend, and I didn't feel quite right in striking out on my own. An entire school year dragged itself by. We would talk, often, about the usual things: what do you like? what do you want to be? i love this show. I fell into my stock "I like this girl" routine of asking lame questions all the time just to have an excuse to talk to her. Pick up her things, examine them, grope desperately for some appropo comment.

The information came to me during this time, though not from her lips (no, God no), that not only had the lady never had a (stupid goddamn word) "boyfriend", but she had not as yet been kissed. Or kissed anyone. Or whichever permutation of intent and reception you wish to apply. She was twenty years old.

"not that there's anything wrong with that"

The summer was icumin' in, she was going to vanish to the left coast and I was staying put. I rode down in the elevator with her, walked to the front door of the building with her. Me. None of her roommates, no other friends. Just me. Something... was happening and being thwarted simultaneously. If a spark could be seen in extremely slow motion, the discharge throwing its glow across the gap as if through gelatin, that's what was happening. One semi-awkward "goodbye" later, she was out onto the sidewalk and away.

However, the nice thing about college is that people tend to come back.

Next fall. I was, myself, legitimately a friend-of-the-room now, and could essentially come and go as I pleased. She and I fell into our old habits, but the scent of ozone was still fresh from the previous season. Things would never be the same. (dum dum DUMmmm! ominous music)

"Hee hee... do you... like her?"
"Yeah, yeah I guess I do, okay?"
"Hee hee... I think she likes you."

I felt like a kid in middle school.
Sadly, this feeling was destined to return. (tune in next time...)

Halloween. Halloween has chronically been the setting for these things in my life. Costumes and makeup; things are safer when you're not entirely you, I suppose. She was... jaw droppingly gorgeous. Out on a limb with extremely flattering clothes: skirt, bustier, all that good pseudo-victoriana. I don't remember wearing any particular costume at all.

She and I and another good friend and his girlfriend wound up in a room watching (of all things) 1776 on VHS. She and I shared her bed, chastely. She and I had our faces toward the screen, but I was wrapped up in her smell and her breathing and her simple presence. Her attention was palpably flowing out of her peripheral vision and not, as she was pretending, frontwards. Some magical work took our companions out of the room, and the clack! of the latch locked us in to what was really happening here.

And that was it. I kissed her. I was most definitely kissing her, at first. And away we went.

We crashed and burned within a month. This was, of course (and I say this without irony) because I fucked it up. I discovered that I did not handle being a first kiss well. I discovered that, therefore, I was not going to be able to handle being a first anything-and-everything-else well, either. I discovered that yes, I am the type of guy to toss away a precious thing for petty reasons.

And words she said to me once, when we were blissed and alone, still cut me apart:

I feel your kisses for days.

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