Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Very Old Kiss

We made a promise when we were young that we would never give up kissing each other. It was, of course, sealed with a kiss, and we held to it all through high school and then through college breaks as well. It didn’t matter who else there was, we never denied a kiss and we never felt an ounce of guilt. It was a decision made too long in the past to allow guilt to enter the equation.

Of course, it was never much more than a kiss either. There were a number of times when we lost some clothes, although never all of them. On occasion we’d press our bodies so tightly together that the hours would slip by and we’d forget everything, but it was still never much more than a kiss.

Meeting now it all feels different. We’re both in our thirties and love is different than it was. We can’t imagine kissing someone without fucking or at least making love, and yet we both know that it will still just be a kiss. I haven’t even asked if your husband will mind, and you have no idea that my wife won’t.

Everything about you looks the same, and I close my eyes when I smell your hair as we hug. I kiss you cheek and your body feels familiar and warm and my heart beats faster than I expected. You hand is holding mine without either of us initiating, and I can feel your pulse on the small of your back. We talk for an hour without ever moving apart, as if we are making up for lost time, and I find that I still wonder. After all these years, I still wonder. Even though you never refuse me, I still wonder.

When I finally lean in and kiss you the world stops a bit. You fingers tighten in my hand and your lips feel so familiar that I want to cry. I can smell you and taste you at the same time and our kiss feels older than our bodies. I feel relief and joy slip through my body at the same time and then there’s nothing. The traffic stops and the radio is silent. The dog stops barking and my living room fades into nothing. As you begin to kiss me back it all falls away and it’s as if no time has passed at all. You taste divine, and I remember why sometimes a kiss is enough.

It’s hours before we open our eyes.

—Guy New York