Sunday, September 16, 2007
The Last Time I Kissed a Girl
Most people remember their first kiss. I had mine at 15, at church camp, on a breezy summer night.
"Let's go climb the water tower across the road, and look at the stars," Carey had suggested.
Clueless me had thought that we were actually going to gaze at stars. In what little light that was available on top of the water tower, I remember Carey looking at me, in the most non-threatening way, her braces glinting in her gentle smile. Nothing had been verbally communicated, and yet, the clue had become suddenly obvious in my mind. I knew what she wanted to me to do. She had brought the two of us to the proper setting--it had been up to me to make the first move.
Kissing a girl was not as gross as I had thought it might be, even with her tongue in my mouth. I had even tented in my Op corduroy shorts, although I suppose that at 15, the slightest bit of any fleshly contact would've brought that about.
I remember wondering if we should worry about getting our braces permanently locked together.
Carey had given me my first kiss. Jill had given me my last.
"In the eighties . . . ", while I was working at Disneyland, and struggling to find a compromise between my sexuality and Christianity, I had had my last kiss with a girl.
Jill worked in the merchandise department, in the stores of Fantasyland. She used to watch me working, dressed up as Tummi Gummi Bear and interacting with children and parents visiting the park. She had asked around backstage to find out who was inside the bear costume.
Having a pretty girl be interested in me had hardly ever been that easy or automatic, so I jumped at opportunity, and went with the flow.
We barely dated, but we did kiss, on the back of my Vespa scooter, in the employee parking lot of Disneyland, in sight of one of the Disneyland security guards.
Kissing Jill was nice, but I still liked kissing boys better. And more than kissing Jill, I enjoyed the image of myself kissing an attractive girl on the back of my Vespa. I enjoyed the rare affirmation of masculinity that this image gave me, when my usual self perspective involved perpetual fretting over my lack of a masculine persona.
Of course--just like a guy--I was an insensitive 21 year old jerk, and I ended it with Jill without telling her that I was ending it.
I ran into her a decade later, at the (then) Arrowhead Pond, at a Mighty Ducks game. She was working with merchandise there, and I was working as one of the cheerleader types. She was not very friendly to me, even ten years later. I did not blame her.
After telling my coworkers about this pathetic little tragedy, one of them had pointed out her husband to me. Jill's husband looked like a taller version of me.
I wished I hadn't seen him.
The last time I kissed a girl, Jill-from-merchandise, was in 1987, twenty years ago. Her version of this sad little memory may perhaps differ.
There is no way I can take any of it back. And maybe there are some things in life that you may never get another chance to apologize for.