We went to the southern New Mexico state fair, our first date. My brother and his first real actual serious multi-year girlfriend Mindy agreed to chaperon us. It was my first date without parents; we'd previously attended one of Suzanne's friend's birthday parties, which was nice and all but there were adults there. This was different. My brother, nudge-nudge-wink-wink-ing his way through any conversations about the evening, kept embarrassing me in front of Mindy, asking me if I was in love and other icky questions. When we finally picked Suzanne up, she was exuberant and super goddamn cute. In the back seat, she held my hand surreptitiously, my brother looking back every now and again in the rear view mirror, a smile in his eyes. He was proud of me. She liked me. All was well.
Had our first kiss on the steps leading into some diabolical mirror maze thing. I was slightly shocked...she'd instigated: "I really like you" and she leaned in and kissed, and I closed my eyes and time stopped.
A few weeks later we went on a hike with her father and stepmother up a trail that was about a 12 mile hike. Her parents had guns, which was a little odd, but they explained the weapons and their purpose to me in a very non-mystical way; there were snakes (lots of rattlers) on the trail, so they were just prepared. No intention to shoot me....
Suzanne and I made it about halfway, then begged off. Told her parents she couldn't go another step, we'd meet them on their way back. They both smirked, and told us to behave.
We stepped off the trail a bit, held hands. Hugged. Innocent bordering on John Hughes. We kissed a tiny bit. We played, like kids...like the kids we were...on that trail, tossing rocks into the canyon, chasing one another, making the landscape swim to our imagination; castles, ogres, dragons, princesses, knights.
That evening when they dropped me off at home, it was after sunset. I went straight to my room and to bed. Shades open, window slightly open, stupidly clear New Mexico night sky, a million stars and a full moon, I lay in bed listening to a song from Cyclone by Tangerine Dream. "Madrigal Meridian," a 20 minute long expansion of imagination.
I lay there, slightly chilled with the late spring air pouring through my window, illuminated by the moon, in love with that moment, forcing time to still, making the dust in the air stand quiet.
Whenever I think of my very first kiss, I think of this.
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