ONE KISS

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I fell head over heels in love for the first time when I was 18, a freshman in college.  She was a woman beyond me — too smart and too beautiful and too funny.  I knew how to talk to her but I didn’t know how to court her.  At 18 I just wasn’t man enough for it.  She knew how I felt about her, though I never told her, and I think she was touched by my feelings and by my bewilderment.

One night during a drunken party at our freshman dorm I was out in its courtyard and saw her sitting in the window of my room.  I climbed up to the window and she pulled me into her arms and into a kiss, a long and passionate kiss.

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The next day she acted as though it hadn’t happened, and so did I.  I couldn’t relate the moment we’d shared to the real world, couldn’t climb up to that window again.  I think I believed — and undoubtedly I was right at that stage of my wayward progress into manhood — that one kiss was all I deserved from such a woman.  We stayed distant friends.

Two years later she was killed in a car crash, at the age of twenty.  The memory of that kiss, frozen forever in time, remains the greatest romantic moment of my life, and a kind of honor that I still feel I need to live up to.  My feelings for her and my bewilderment abide — 46 years on they’ve never changed, not even a little bit.

6 thoughts on “ONE KISS

    • A real memory, made vivid after a night of listening to late Dylan. He’s the only one who writes about such stuff.

  1. Music has such an ability to recall powerful emotions. It’s both a blessing and a curse. To play certain pieces of Beethoven can bring back events from decades ago for me. Great post. Sorry for your loss.

    • Not so much much my loss as the world’s. She was an amazing woman. She’d be 64 now — I can’t even imagine the life she’d be looking back on if she’d lived.

      Music really does stitch our lives into a kind of unity — the unity of a patchwork quilt, perhaps, but still a unity.

  2. I heard some kid say the other “I loved her so much I thought I’d die from it.” I too have had this experience, and your right, it stays with you for life.

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