The Mystery Of The Lip-Lock
By Katina Pontikes
My first date was to attend a homecoming dance, which would be held at my Catholic girls’ school in Louisiana. Getting a date had not been easy, as the school system was structured to protect our virginity, and we had very little contact with the guys from our brother school.
Fortunately, my girlfriend came to my rescue when she informed me that she had talked to her brother Jeff, and he agreed to escort me. This may have involved some cajoling. My dress was swingy silver lamé, and I eagerly awaited the opportunity to twirl and show it off to good advantage on the dance floor. While my heart wasn’t buzzing with eager attraction for my friend’s brother, I definitely had high expectations to ogle other couples’ behavior, particularly couples who were attracted for all the hot chemical reasons. Would they try and make out on the dance floor?
The evening of the dance proved to be one long blur of watching other people do a lot of dancing. Jeff didn’t like to dance to the fast songs, to my dismay. When we danced to the slow songs, our steps were somewhat awkward and had a rocking style, reminiscent of how a two-year-old goes back and forth to cross a room. I was happy to limit toe bumping for each song. This required a great deal of concentration as I tried to anticipate which way Jeff was going to move next, my eyes closed, while I pretended to be transported by the slightly off-tempo garage band.
I was relieved by the curfew. However, when we drove up to the curb to park, Jeff wasn’t in a hurry to get out of the car. And then it hit me, he was going to expect a goodnight kiss. I was mortified. I just wanted to get past the moment. How long would he want to engage our lips? The prospect was almost incestuous, as he was my good friend’s brother!
He tilted his head and moved toward me in the faint light of the street lamp. I stayed still and hoped for a quick peck on the lips. He moved through the dark and placed his cool lips against mine, with no resulting quickening of my heart. The kiss was quite clinical. And then to my horror he stuck his tongue through my lips. I had not been warned about French kissing, and this was not a welcome development.
I turned away quickly and expressed my thanks for the evening. I vaguely remember Jeff insulting my kiss, something about it not being very warm. Not warm, indeed! I was feeling positively icy.
A long year elapsed before I was to be kissed again. This time it was by a neighbor on whom I had a serious crush. He visited me regularly on lazy summer evenings. The night he finally leaned down to place his warm lips magnetically against mine, I experienced an all over weakness, a dark fall. The instance was timeless, reflecting the secrets of the universe.
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- March 2023 - February 28, 2023