Friday, June 08, 2007

Movie Hero

I remember my first kiss. I was five.

Yes, five. My brother Jim was there, and he can attest. That is, if he remembers my first kiss. It wasn’t, after all, his first kiss. He was three. And probably pooping in his training pants.

We were out at Point O’ Woods, a very WASPy, very exclusive beach community on Fire Island that my parents first rented at and then, when I was about 12, bought a house at that Jim and I sold only after our second parent passed away, in 2002. No cars except for utility vehicles were allowed – much to the chagrin of Robert Moses in the 30s who almost ended that – so it was safe to let loose little ones and animals.

As I said, I was five and was playing at the eastern end of the community, toward the long stretch of open sand and dunes that led past Lonelyville, where if you walk down a double-track car path you’ll eventually get to where the chickens and junk yard dogs roam free and first you hear the chickens clucking and then you start fearing the rumors of nasty German Shepherds and other canines that will eat you alive if the Resident of Lonelyville doesn’t get you first with his shotgun, and after that you come to Sunken Forest, which is pretty cool but to which I never took the Lovely K because I was lazy and she never lets me forget it, and finally you arrive at Cherry Grove, the gay hangout, which actually has some of the best restaurants around but to which a group of us teenagers once went for novelty’s sake and when I opened a fashion magazine in a store it showed a picture of a man in a business suit with his trouser fly open and him…basically flapping in the breeze, which I thought quite bizarre and not exactly up to journalistic standards…and then we all saw a topless woman running happily screaming down the path with a mixed drink in her hand chased by a very effeminate man who was enjoying himself just as much but had no end purpose to the chase.

It was at this eastern end, where there were only four more houses in our community, and I was playing with Ann K., and Jim was there for some God-only-knows reason – probably Mom told me to take him along. Ann and I were playing movie heroes and heroines – probably my idea, because I had a sense that kissing was involved in all movies and dammit I wanted a kiss.

I let Ann be the heroine and “fall” off a 3-foot high sand dune onto the soft ground, and I scooped her up and kissed her. Jim looked away. “The horror…!”

The kiss felt soft. And hot. And because it was hot, it was kind of gross. I thought that icicles would form, that it would be like a cool breeze. I had no idea that 98.6 degrees plus 98.6 degrees plus hormones plus summer sunshine equal heat.

It was not what I pictured, nor what I really cared for, until my second kiss in 8th grade nine years later, when I played spin the bottle one Friday night with girls from the Hewitt School, including one Phoebe Cates of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” fame. (That’s for another post.)

(Spoiler: I didn’t get to kiss her, but my classmate Rick did. He said it was hot.)

photo: alanford01

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