I first kissed a girl in 1984. Not the book, the year. True to some Orwellian prophecy however, people watched me do it, and I was confused and terrified the entire time.
Now you must understand, I had kissed girls before. A couple of Barbies will attest to the fact that I had normal male urges…I simply lacked supporting actresses. Being a somewhat sheltered teenage boy and the little brother to a hellcat older sister, I had not yet seen much action, clearly.
Always husky and pimple-ridden, my high school experience in Holland had been a 3 year collection of sub-par sports performances, grades only good enough to keep me out of a special education program, quite a bit of Southern Comfort and 7up, and Marlboro Lights. And Heineken. Plenty of Heineken. In retrospect, maybe it was the booze that kept the girls away and made exams…foggy.
So one night I headed to our school-funded gathering place, “The Hole”, to finish out an evening with my extremely small clique after a full evening of 16 year old drinking at one of my fav bars. I say “one of”, as I had been patronizing the local bar scene since the tender age of FOURTEEN. It boggles the mind of a parent now, that Queen Beatrix in all her wisdom believed that there is nothing wrong with a 14yr old drinking whiskey as long as they wash it down with cheese, fried food and chocolate. Just don’t drive.
So, The Hole. Enter Jay, standing coolly at the doorway in my fartootightformyphysique jeans, docksiders with no socks, blue buttondown (no logo, couldn’t afford Izod or Polo), Varsity letter jacket with no tournament patches, pins, or anything at all to signify I was more than a 3rd stringer. Polo cologne, all pimples popped. Ready for …companionship.
And there she was. Suzan. The most beautiful girl in the school by many accounts, with her long flowing blond hair, angelic face, and I am stopping at the neck. But be advised, she looked…nice.
She had often said hello to me, and I had often wondered what was wrong with her for doing so. Sometimes gave me a hug, sometimes an intriguing glance, but certainly every encounter was a trophy in my poorly stocked relationship case. And once again she turned, saw me, and smiled.
Now, to describe my lack of experience would not do it justice. So I will paint the picture this way, and I am quite serious when I say, my version of “running the bases” was slightly different from most…a home run would be inked on my scorecard if I got a slow dance from Suzan.
I approached her, summoning every ounce of courage I had to ask the question, at which she smiled brightly, took my hand, and led me to the dance floor…which was…empty. She grabbed me, settled into an embrace, and I entered the gates of Heaven under the watchful eyes of many from our small school.
It was like…well, it is at this point I run out of words…to hold someone that beautiful, swaying with her, smelling her hair…it was like…
She suddenly pulled back from me, looked deeply into my deer-in-a-headlight gaze, and kissed me. Not a peck, mind you, not a teaser, she planted one. A big one. A wet one. I felt her tongue, and realized I was outmatched, and unprepared. Suzan had been around the track, and I, in my Radio Flyer, was having a hard time keeping up with her Andretti-like advance.
But it was a hell of a ride.
We kissed, and kissed, and kissed, for what seemed like hours, but may have just been the duration of “Hotel California” Then, taking my hand again, she led me from the dance floor through a shocked throng of gaping-mouthed friends to start our three month “romance”. At the end of three months, you see, and with that jewel on my arm, I began to summon the stares of more girls, and like the proverbial kid in the candy shop, I broke up with the lovely Suzan.
Pretty sure she was tired of coddling me through our makeouts anyway.
Wherever you are today, Suzan, I wish you health and happiness, and I thank you for taking a chance on a nerd like me.