Ants and the British Kiss

You never know how much you appreciate a kiss until you have to do it on command.

I’m talking about kissing, right? How can kissing be a topic of conversation? You kiss your partner, your Nana, maybe even the dog – the wet, sloppy ‘welcome home and I just licked my balls kind – but the act of kissing is positively intriguing to me now because I have to do it on command…

With a co-star in a play I’ll be performing in.

…That I’ve met only twice.

…And we’re both married.

And he’s British and more seasoned.

…And he’s older.

And I’m awkwardly nerdy.

And I’m Black and younger.

Oooo, boy. ‘Thems the parameters.’

I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW. You’ve read about my kissing antics before.  I can hear your snickering and see the sarcastic head nodding adorned with rolling eyes, but I’d like to spin yarns on why kissing is so important and how we, as people, became so desensitized about what a kiss really is and truly means.

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Have you kissed  recently? Think about it with serious reflection; go over the details. Did they wear lip balm…or not? Was it on your way out of the door? Was it playful? Did their breath smell like coffee? Was it a sibling? A spouse? A child? A parent or a partner?

When recalled, think about the intentions behind your half of the kiss. Let it dip, bob and roll around between your mind and your succulent puckers.  Intentions are important. It’s my belief that as we swim in the seas of instant, – instant selfies, instant likes, instant upvotes and texts – that we are slowly losing the relevance of intention behind action; to the point of forgetting why we choose to kiss, to honestly connect, with another human being in the first place. Even I forget at times, when I peck my wonderful husband goodbye and head out to face my day.

There isn’t a place the above observation that states there is ignorance to what the intention is, but more so questioning why we do things.  The immortal words of Dave Matthews, which were forgettably light- hearted and catchy in my youth, now reverberate deep in my adult soul:

Driving in on this highway
All these cars and upon the sidewalk
People in every direction
No words exchanged
No time to exchange

And all the little ants are marching
Red and black antennas waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way

On the day of our rehearsal, my co-star and I floated in a void of hand slapping, pudding swimming awkwardness as our director, leering mischievously behind his spectacles, stated that he wanted the opening kiss to happen during our second rehearsal. We both glanced nervously at each other and I sighed.  Our director was paying us after all and the world is a stage. I promised myself if I was given the chance to perform Shakespeare, I was not going to puss out.

 SHITTTTTTTTTT.

                                 *deepbreathdeepbreathdeepbreah*

    Y.O.L.O. *

I made the first kiss, on the cheek close to his lips and was surprised at what little resistance I received…in fact there was a bit of child like eagerness in it. It was tender, honest and smothered in an unfamiliar passion that I was completely virgin to. I felt my heart race and with every touch received from him was the equivalent of thirsty soil gently coated with sweet Spring rain. Man…this Gertrude chick is a lucky sumovabitch.**

***

I analyzed the emotions surging through me and came to the conclusion that the intention between our shared moments of intimacy were focused, present, alive. There was no choice but to make it believable. Within our threads of imaginary weaving, we manufactured a life of love, sex, companionship; emotional building of vicarious sand castles deemed to collapse when the tides of reality in the forms of bills, taxes, spouses and forgetting to take out the garbage came crashing down. In reality, it’s pretty damn certain I wouldn’t meet him in a club whilst twerking to Major Lazer and he would probably pass me by on the street, maybe a second glance of curiosity, but that’s it.

After rehearsal, as Gertrude and I quietly parted, I met my lovely husband for a beer and I kissed him, but the kiss was different than I daily exchange of affections. It lacked the habitual confirmation of ‘Hey, you’re pretty cool and I’m glad I married my bestie!’ It was a kiss that reflected his sadness of losing coworkers to downsizing, his frustration of insecurity of his art’s relevance to the world; the quiet innocence of being human and daring to disturb the universe.

I kissed him with all the passion I had, with the love I feel when I see his long dark coils fall around his shoulders when stepping out of the shower, or his deep brown eyes as they worship the soft curves of my body in the early morning. When I watch him dress and how his shoulders make the concealed tribal wolf tattoo ripple with clad iron power. I share myself: my role as a wife, a queen, a concubine and friend he needs as he drinks his sorrows in this half empty bar. When I pull back, he touches my face and in that moment of silence, my pupils profusely apologize for loving him in a half dead haze of schedule, duty, and repetition.

It took a stranger, a demanded kiss and a play to realize that.

I suppose here is where I wrap up and say kiss your loved ones with present intention and all the drivel that blogs like to wrap up with. Instead, I’ll just place this definition here:

A kiss is the touch or pressing of one’s lips against another person or an object. Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss can express sentiments of love, passion, romance, sexual attraction, sexual activity, sexual arousal, affection, respect, greeting, friendship, peace and good luck, among many others. – Wikipedia

***

* Note: Girds up invisible loins while floppy boobs bounce around in my head.

** Note: Angela Basset did admit the best kiss she had was from Ralph Fiennes. I’m seeing a trend here,  British males.