I meant to start with the date the first time a boy kissed me. At the time, I remember thinking I’d never forget when that was, but now I have to Google old calendars to figure it out. Friday December 5, 2008.
I still remember our bodies wrapped around each other on that trampoline. I still remember that it was a chilly, clear night and that the stars were in plain view. I still remember that he spotted two shooting stars that night but that I couldn’t focus on the sky. I still remember him leaning in and pressing his lips against mine. I still remember “The Adventure” by Angels and Airwaves playing in my head as he did.
I still remember rushing past my mother in the garage as she loaded the truck for the CYO basketball concession stand the following morning. I still remember realizing I’d just plunged down a rabbit hole I could never escape and wondering whether I even wanted to.
In my head, I romanticized the night and moment, but I need to remind myself of several details. First of all, we weren’t actually alone on the trampoline; we were with five friends. Even worse, my GIRLFRIEND was on the other side of the trampoline, and I cheated on her rather than honestly explaining my sexual confusion. Maybe most embarrassingly, I didn’t even participate in my first gay kiss. I froze, completely in shock, and literally ran away scared once I processed what just happened. I let shame consume me
Although the particulars of the moment were anything but cinematic, “The Adventure” played in my head for good reason. He opened up a whole universe to me that night: a boundless unknown I’d never understood I could explore.
“Hello, here I am,
And here we go; life’s waiting to begin.”