My first kiss was never truly my first. I knew it was sometime during a middle school band trip, playing semi-perverted kissing games like "suck-n-blow" and "are ya nervous" in the backseat before we even knew what sexuality was. And if I wanted to be really technical about it, it was with a girl.
Although believing that my first kiss should be special and private, I was ashamed of my inexperience, yet also still unready, pressured by budding breasts and high school hormones.
I was 17 at the time, and also never been kissed. Awkward, gangly, artistic and weird. Insecure, unabashedly coarse, and un-kissable in the eyes of most of my peers.
It happened in a basement, just after swimming in late August. It was cool and dank and shadows were stretching up the walls with the setting sunset. I was lying on this itchy grey couch and he walked into the room and sat beside me, his clumsy arms caging me in an awkward silence.
He leaned down and kissed me in one spontaneous and inconsequential moment. I remember he smelled like dog. His lips, unfeeling and dry. The kiss we shared didn't feel world-changing or anything. Was this how it was supposed to feel? It was like ordering hot coffee and tasting the grits.
He broke up with me later that week via instant message.
My second kiss was stolen. Secret and wanton, brought on in a pick-up truck pulled over in a cornfield. It was lust-filled and pungently passionate, washed in the neon glow of a car radio ticking my curfew closer.
My third kiss was less exciting, but more honest and innocent, like tasting beer for the first time. He was unsuspecting and clueless, fumbling with his peacoat buttons while I stepped on the hems of my ripped jeans and dug my fingernails into my palms. I stopped him in the flood light and tried to be coy. He kissed me with his entire mouth, sloppily and earnestly. I pulled away and laughed, instantly regretting it when I saw the look on his face.
I asked if we could try again.