This is probably the hardest for me to recall. My first love is the easy part, but first kiss… I’ll tell you about that in a minute.
So, first love… I’m going to leave out names because reasons. There was this girl, and she was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me in my life. She was funny, and she was smart, and she was tall and moved with this strange awkward grace. She was comfortable in her skin – or as comfortable as anyone can be in sixth grade – and it showed in her stride.
Is that weird that one of the first things I ever noticed about her was the way she walked? It wasn’t like a sexy walk – I didn’t even have a concept of that at that point – but it was a sort of lanky gait, like she was pacing herself to cover hundreds of miles. The way she walked made me think of patient things, of quiet long nights, of a kind of feral indolence. She was going to arrive where she intended exactly when she was meant to – and not a moment sooner.
She introduced me to music and to politics outside of what my parents talked about. She dressed in a way completely beyond anything I’d been exposed to before, and it opened my eyes to so many different possibilities. She was the first person to cut my hair the way I wanted it cut (it was really her idea, her vision, but it was more than I could have hoped for), and she was the first person to dye my hair.
We were best friends for years, and I don’t think she ever knew how deeply I loved her. I imagined her living her lives and loves with the imaginary boys of fantasy, and me being there with her, enjoying her with them, being happy watching her be happy. She was my first compersion experience because even though I was completely in love with her, I knew that she wasn’t going to be mine – she clearly did not like girls at all – but I was satisfied to be near her. I was never jealous.
First kiss? Well, it wasn’t her, much as I wish and hoped it had been. I think it was almost a non-person in my life, someone who was fleeting and gone, because I needed to “get it out of the way”. The romance of adolescent wonders cast long shadows on the unknown, and I do not like not knowing things.
I do remember that it was utterly anticlimactic, and that I figured after that that I just didn’t like kissing. It turned out a year or two later that I did like kissing – but particularly with girls. Years would pass before I would feel that kind of tingle of passion from kissing with a boy, and many, many more years later before a boy ever measured up to the first time I kissed a girl.
And I married that guy.
(Tomorrow, ten interesting things about me… or “ten things I thought of that aren’t utterly boring”)