Rudy Clark had it right when he wrote “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss).” You want to know if a man really loves you?
“If you want to know if he loves you so
It’s in his kiss
That’s where it is”
I truly believe that. More on this in Part II of this. I don’t know when it happened in my last horrendous relationship, but it most certainly was almost 2 years ago: I remember one day when we were about to get at it, me thinking about Cher’s version of that song: “can she tell it’s not in my kiss anymore?”
The anguish and pain she had besieged me with for so long had finally done it: my kiss was dead for her. I was going through the motions and that–as I’m sure many of you can relate to– is the kiss of death to any relationship, the loss of passion and desire. Why I didn’t leave for for almost another year and a half is the subject of another post.
Anyway…before we explore the kiss, I want to set this most important scene. This scene will come to define the very essence of why the kiss was, and always will be, a most profound circumstance!
I want to tell you a story about a 12 year old boy. A boy, who up to that point, had never known happiness or peace. A boy abused. A boy shunned by all the other kids. A boy beaten and forgotten in his own home. A lonely boy. I remember the desolate feelings that constantly pervaded my thoughts.
I cannot remember much of my childhood before the age of 12. I have fleeting images that come and go, but I have blocked most of it out. I am sure it is some form of detachment; a form of self-preservation. But I remember never having any friends. I remember day after day of playing by myself. I was always picked last in gym.
I always stood off to the side and watched and listened to the kids playing in the schoolyards. It was always that way. I remember weeks on end of being locked in my room. I remember the visits to my Aunt’s house, my older cousin. I remember the sadness. I wasn’t a bad kid, it’s just nobody really paid attention to me. Or, if they did, it was for trauma and abuse.
Then I kissed Angela.
I was about 12. I was hanging around the back of the Elementary school when some boys told me there was a girl in the alcove who would kiss me if I went up to her. It’s been over 40 years and I still remember my heart pounding out of my chest as I approached her. I still remember the devastating look she gave me.
She smelled like a garden of a million flowers! She was a lovely thing! She was a gorgeous thing. She was a fragile thing. And when I kissed her, my world exploded into a thousand colors! And it was no peck and run! No, this was a deep and haunting kiss. A transforming kiss. A kiss that pulled something from deep within my soul that has nurtured and comforted me through all the rest of my 40 years on this earth.
I truly believed I had not seen colors in the world until that moment. I just looked into her eyes and then bolted! I remember staggering out of the alcove, the boys asking me how it was, but I just took off. My heart pounding, an energy filled me from head to toe. My inner sanctity was never the same.
Looking back I realize that I found love! I found joy! I found a serenity I had never known. I found something else, but that wouldn’t be defined on that particular day, lol. Or, all of that had more than likely found me! For weeks I would walk by her foreboding house, aching to knock on the door and talk to her. I had to see her again! I was in love.
Alas, one day I did approach that scary looking door. The porch crooked and dominated with broken furniture and pervasive shadows. Finally, one hot summer day, I knocked on the door and stepped backwards, heart thundering out of my chest. Then, abruptly and violently, the door swung open and the scariest man I think I have ever seen in my life stepped up and I turned and cleared the four porch steps and never approached the house again. I never saw Angela again. But I was inexorably changed for the rest of my life. Because I kissed Angela.
(part II: my search for that feeling again)