Remember that episode of Friends, The One Where Ross Finds Out? Rachel wants closure, and leaves a drunken message on his machine, and then he listens to it and they have this stilted, funny conversation and he says, "You're over me? When, when, when were you... under... me?" And then, at the end of the episode, they're alone at the coffee shop and he leaves and then he comes back and it's raining! And she unlocks the door! And then he grabs HER FACE and kisses her! In the rain! While holding her face! And it is the best kiss EVER!
God, that was good. That was really, really good. And last night, I dreamed about it, but of course, even in my own dream, where I have complete creative control, it's not like I'm Rachel or anything, and it's not like David Schwimmer is grabbing my face in the rain. The scene just replayed in my head, exactly like it always does on TV, like a thousand and one TBS re-runs.
Except, a couple of hours later I was unlocking the office door at work, and just as I was entering, I heard the phone ring, so I rushed to answer it. It was a wrong number - some guy called looking for someone named Ross.
And I thought to myself, well, something good is going to happen today. I'll get a surprise phone call or a really good email, or Iíll get flowers, or maybe the stem will come off my apple on a letter that isn't Q or B, which means I won't end up with a husband with an ugly name. I have a horror of marrying someone named Quentin or Boris.
And then I got to thinking about television kisses and movie kisses and real life kisses. Because if you dream about a pretend guy named Ross who gives good kisses, and then get a phone call from someone looking for a real life Ross, that's what you do. You start to think about kissing.
I started to count the number of people I've kissed in my life, and then I started to compare and contrast, dismissing the bad ones from my brain and sorting through the good ones. It was a pleasing, sort of mindless experience, like sitting on a beach and running your fingers through the same pile of warm sand over and over again.
There have been long, lingering kisses, and unsatisfactory stingray kisses, and delicious kisses that taste of cognac and ice cream, and kisses that felt like he didnít have lips, so that wasnít very pleasant at all, like I was kissing a cantaloupe or something.
And of course, itís been well documented by better women than me, that most of us want the person who is kissing them to hold our faces. Itís a well-known fact, and some of you pay attention to it, too much attention to it, so that one suddenly feels as though they are in a neck brace, and if the gentleman in question was so willing, he could stick his elbows out and make a nice resting place for pigeons. Some of you donít pay attention to this really, very good piece of advice at all, and let your hands sit at our hips, without moving, without straying at all from exactly the spot where our pantyhose have rolled down under our skirts, feeling very much like some kind of tourniquet, or sausage, just under our hipbone.
There have been stolen kisses, of course, under stairwells and in dark corners, with people I had no business kissing at all, By and large, those kisses are fantastic, because nothing tastes so thrilling as the heady mix of fear and daring and strawberry lip-gloss. The guilt and shame usually cancel it out the next morning, of course, but at that moment, when your head is full of the moment youíre in, it really is like jumping out of a plane. You canít un-jump, and itíll probably be a bumpy landing, but youíre up there, so you may as well enjoy the ride down.
I realized today, with the remnants of a re-run in my head and an apple stem in my hand, that in the realm of magic and kisses, Iíve not done too badly. The magical, lingering ones far outweigh the horrible darting stingray ones, and even the ones that werenít stolen out of thrill and darkness tended to be delivered with skill enough to make them pretty and memorable.
Thatís not too bad, is it? Still though, I wouldnít mind it if it rained tomorrow. Just in case, you know?
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