• Kisses

    Sweet, tender, wet, passionate, fugacious, noisy: kisses are one of the best things in life, either to the recipient or to the giver (unless you’re a child who’s forced to kiss the wrinkly cheeks of your grandmother’s best friend).

    The simple contraction of some facial muscles has the power to waken a smile, start a tear or make you shiver. Feeling someone’s skin touching our lips can be both a chaste or erotic experience, but never indifferent.

    Think about the best kisses you’ve ever given. I remember several of them and each one is linked to a happy memory. The kisses I used to give to my grandfather when he held me in his arms (which tasted like aftershave) or the kisses I used to give to my baby sister when she was so little I could hold her with one arm. And, of course, the first kiss I gave to a certain boy in a certain summer night.

    There are definitely bad kisses as well; especially when you go from lip kissing to French kissing. The art of moving a tongue is something that not everybody can master. It’s a talent and therefore innate. Those who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t insist, even after hours of practice with glasses and mirrors. Because a bad tongue can turn, what could have been, a beautiful experience into a traumatic one. But that’s another story.

    Back to kisses: think about the ones you gave today. I bet most of you just threw some to the air, when the truth is everyone who lives with someone doesn’t have an excuse for not starting the day kissing those around them. Not just a polite good-morning kiss, but one filled with love. And those who live alone can start by kissing their own arm, then their pets, their friends or their neighbors; and why not even kiss a stranger in the middle of the street?

    We SEND kisses over the phone, on Facebook, on an email; but actually GIIVING kisses seams harder. We’re shy about it and that’s sad; because the truth is there’s nothing like it. No wonder all the old ladies I know are always yarning from kisses on their wrinkly cheeks. They know it better.

    ©Alfred Eisenstaedt
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