Photo by Missy
There's something spectacular - something earth-quaking, china-shattering, spell-binding, something poetic that makes your heart swell as though it's been soaking in the bubbliest of champagne your whole life, something thrilling in all ways imaginable - about your first kiss.
It's a daydream of baby girls in babydoll dresses, swinging on tire swings or from tree branches or observing the ever-spinning world from the seashore that is their bedroom. We can all admit to spending at least part of our sleepy childhood with our head in our hands, thinking about those mysterious boys who will sweep us away with that sizzling effervescent kiss of womanhood. We wonder, blowing the amoxicillin-pink bubbles of summertime dreams, what they will look like - whether they will have ice-rink blue eyes that seem to sweep over us with a bittersweet chill, or a crooked smile that always comforts us, even in our most tart of times. What kind of music will define them? Will they be rocker boys who can strum out chords on our bedroom floor, serenading us with Radiohead and Kurt Cobain love songs? Or will they be jazz types who sneak into their father's study in the dead of night to have gin-spun rendezvous with Billie Holiday and Wynton Marsalis? How will these dream boys, so different yet so the same, find us in this ever-growing world - and more importantly, how will we know when they are here?
We ask ourselves these silly things while trudging through girl-hood, yet when we finally do slip into the open arms of our first lovers it seems so correct, like those first two puzzle-pieces we get to lay down in life, and suddenly questioning those beautiful boys seems simply absurd. These boys - with their strange stories and mystifying eyes - they give us butterfly kisses deep in our bellies, like an aviary suddenly shaken into a fury and the flapping of hundreds of neon wings. Life seems to float around them, and we suddenly find ourselves wrapped up with them, tied up in their electric lives - watching the entire universe circle in slow motion. We're atwitter with small talk and passed smiles, hand-holding and poetic words that still could never quite explain how we feel.
And when it finally does happen, that ruby red cherry on the cake of adolescence,
when we finally do kiss - all we can see are fireworks.
It's an explosion in small scale, a soda pop sip that fizzes through you like a high-speed chase. It's witchy women who slam-dance on the beach and throw themselves at the moon and stare into the bonfire as though searching for answers. It's all-night diners and midnight festivals all lit up in a neon glaze and hand-spun circus spectaculars deep into the night. We feel like thundering tides so glassy that a single touch could shatter the sea - our hearts heavy bongo drums meeting the beat of clattering subway trains. In that single moment, we become electric, anew. We are something more than tiny girls in an infinite world. We have been brought closer, closer to the Earth and the sea, the sky and the wind, closer to another human, to another planet, to ourselves.
The kisses never end, all from different boys who show us different worlds, and all of them bring us closer to something different. They show us the joy and magic in our lives, the tiny spectaculars that we pass over in an average day, and we become more alive because of them. We become more than just girls.
And we cannot explain what has happened to us, what storybook tale these boys have left us with, what piece of worldliness has been instilled all with the help of a single kiss, where that folded map of kisses will lead us - all we know is that we are not the same.