The first time I ever kissed a girl was in our bathroom, with the door closed. She was the dark haired beauty from across the street, and an older woman, at that. I was six, and she was seven.
I was a shy little brown eyed kid, but not so shy that I couldn't confess my love to the first girl of my dreams. She was across the street, not next door, but it was close enough -- and every boy should be in love with the "girl next door" at least once.
(It happened to me more than once, actually)
Telling her I loved her was the easy part, but after she returned the compliment, things got trickier. I never went through the "girls are gross" stage. Nope, I've always been a lover, even at six. And, with the confession of mutual love, the universe demanded action. Aphrodite required proof.
There had to be a kiss.
There was no way around it.
There were a couple of impediments to this smooch, not the least of which was the fact that she was taller than me. This may be the only kiss of my life that I performed on my tiptoes. There was also the possibility that we might get caught. We weren't sure why that would be bad, but something said secrecy was essential. I think it was those nervous little butterflies in my stomach -- up until that point in my life, those feelings only meant I was in trouble.
It's funny how love and guilt can both make you sick to your stomach.
So, we went to the only place in the house where we were guaranteed to be left alone -- or at least we could lock the world out -- the bathroom.
Then we just stood there, staring at each other. I remember my mouth being dry and my heart pounding like a timpani. My palms were sweaty. My breathing was coming in short, shallow bursts, and I was getting tunnel vision. No doubt about it, this was love.
I didn't know if I should shut my eyes or not. Bobby and Pam always shut their eyes when they kissed on Dallas. So did all those people on the Love Boat and the Dukes of Hazzard. Closing your eyes sure seemed like the right thing to do...but I didn't. I wasn't going to miss this kiss.
I touched her arms, and sort of pulled her close, in a six year old version of a passionate embrace, and then everything just clicked.
I went up up tip toes. She leaned down. Our lips touched...
This is in slow motion in my mind. In the back ground, the Righteous Brothers are crooning "Unchained Melody." The camera whirls around us, like a scene from a romantic movie. The wind blows up from beneath us, stirring her ebony locks. I shut my eyes, and feel the electricity to my toe nails. The world stops turning...for just a minute. Heaven and Earth move. Somewhere the goddess of love smiles...
The truth is, the kiss happened so fast that it was as much a head butt as a kiss.
But, I'll never forget that feeling. We have a lot of firsts in life, especially as kids -- first steps, first words, first bike ride, first day of school -- and I don't remember most of those firsts, but I remember that kiss.
I haven't kissed a lot of girls, but I've had my share of first kisses since that time. They have all been amazing in their own way, and most have had a lot more fireworks than that first time, in the upstairs bathroom. Kissing a girl isn't like anything else. Some have rocked my world, knocked me for a loop, and sent me over the moon. Some have been in passing and fun. One, nineteen years ago, was the best first kiss of all time - and my last.
But there is something to be said for being the first.
There's only one first, first kiss.