Friday, February 22, 2008

Kissing workshop

I thought you looked familiar. You should look familiar; you’re the girl from the kissing workshop, no? You’re the girl who taught me that there should be a number that a first kiss and a last kiss should both be. No more, no less and I hung on to this valuable information for more time than I care to admit. I remember listening to you stand up on that four-poster bed in the middle of Bleakley County Community center and definitively speak up while holding a bright red lipstick in one hand and a Gumby doll in the other. You were clearly taking on the instructor role, and you were so beautiful. I wanted to be you, and I don’t know how many other little girls wanted to be you too.

My friend Marilyn asked you, “How long should it last?” She was clearly a devoted follower. She clearly knew what she was doing. She clearly brought little unassuming me with her that day. I felt a little out of my league. While she was the one asking the questions, I was the one staring at the sign that read “Kissing Workshop” in bright red-stenciled letters. Did you make that sign yourself? I was more interested in the sign than the advice. I was only fourteen, and most of the boys I knew still had cooties. This might come in handy two years from now, but really? Why wouldn’t it just make sense to go with the flow of the moment when it happened, if it did? She didn’t mean to ask that question out loud, but apparently it slipped out because the next thing I knew I was up on the bed in front of thirty other girls not knowing what to do. Why me?

If you had told me this was going to happen a week ago, I never would have believed you. I should still be in bed. Fast asleep, dreaming of something like this. Anything would have been better than this! She told me the groundhog saw its shadow today. That is bad news, but not worse than this. “You are the girl from second period English with Mr. Faulkner, aren’t you? You are the girl from the cross-country team aren’t you?” I heard the question but not the place of origin. Who was asking all of these questions? I was, I was the person from all of these places, but I wouldn’t admit it to just anyone. Why did she want to know?

In a moment of panic, I looked around for Marilyn. Why would she abandon me like that?
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