What I Wish I Could’ve Told Myself About Our First Kiss
Don’t worry too much about waiting for a month to kiss her. You know that you want to and you should know that she wants to kiss you too, but some things take time. She’ll drop hints like holding your hand in the park and lending you her favorite book. You’ll think that you’re thinking about these things too much, that you’re placing too much significance on them, more than she is: you aren’t. But allow for the waiting, for the moon, for whatever signs you’ve imagined will prepare you for the perfect meeting of her lips on your lips.
When it happens, do not be surprised by how cold and wet and clunky it feels, how it tastes like the bean burritos you shared that afternoon for lunch.
Laugh, brush the hair from her eyes.
Do not stop trying.
Lose yourself in first kiss after first kiss after first kiss. What could be better than one first kiss but a dozen, hundreds, a thousand? She will not be Meg Ryan and you will not be the man that she has been waiting for with flowers and drawers full of her letters, but you will like her enough to try to be. And when your bodies are like fishing hooks sloppily slapping reckless water, place your hand on her chest, tell her that she makes you nervous too. All you will be is sweaty skin and all she will be is racing pulse, but you will be together: young and trying.
When you are done, it will be okay if you realize that this was not your fantasy. After all, there will be no poetry, no bending of spirit, no sexual awakening. Just a kiss: awkward and slimy. But the way her hand will run through your hair will be anything but awkward. It will be warm, caring. She will bury her lips into the half-moon between your chin and your collarbone, will butterfly-kiss her way to your eyelids until your eyelashes meet: feather on feather. There will be no exchange of iloveyous or anything more permanent than the shiver still working its way up your spine. There will be time enough for permanency, time enough for latching souls and talks of futures that exist outside of this bed, this kiss.
For now, close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like to fade into her. Know that this is the beginning. Everything is fresh, simple. Things will get messier from here, but don’t worry about that now — there is a girl dozing by your side who wants to kiss you, will fill a page of her diary describing the shape of your lips and the tickle of your peach fuzz against her nose. Content yourself with this. Hold her tightly. Let her lean against what she thinks must be the strongest arms she’s ever felt. Breathe deeply, notice her smell of sugared lip balm: cherry lip-smacker. Memorize as much of her, this room, the feel of her cotton sheets as you can; when you’ve taken it all in, let her breath and the whirr of the ceiling fan lull you into daydreaming: of lips of her of you of tomorrow and all its kissing.
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It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.