Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Kiss

The Sunday Scribblings prompt is First Kiss.

The first time I was kissed, other than by my close relatives, I was outraged. Phillip had no right to seize my face with a hand on each cheek and press his mouth to mine. I was almost four years old. He was a few months younger.

Yes, I guess I was pretty cute.

As far as I was concerned, kissing rights belonged to one’s daddy or mama, not to a playmate chosen by Mama. Phillip lived on the high side of the street and I lived on the lower side. One or the other of us had to be escorted across the street so that Phyllis and Phillip (and weren’t those names cute together?) could play while their mothers visited.

Yes, I was truly outraged by that unsolicited kiss. I burst into tears while Mrs. Lathrop told my mother how they had always encouraged Phillip not to inhibit his feelings but to express them freely. She frowned at me. Apparently she felt that I was expressing my feelings much too freely.

With this early conditioning against kisses, I managed to avoid most of them for the next fourteen years or so. That’s when I had my first real kiss, the kind that can resonate for a lifetime.


Early sketch that I did of Otto

It was a late afternoon of a spring day, the air balmy and fragrant. I felt pretty in a floaty green dress with white polka dots instead of my usual sweater and skirt for a day of classes. I knew that he - he of the blue eyes and wavy brown hair - would probably be sitting on the curb in front of the art building in which he thought that I would be working on an assigned project.

We had held hands. We had compared philosophies. We had hiked together, gotten poison oak together, sung together. But we had yet to kiss. And I wanted desperately to be kissed by Otto.

As I crossed the quad and skirted the chapel, I entered a cloud of fragrance from a planting of small trees with tiny flowers with the texture and scent of gardenias. I broke off a twig and stuck it in my pocket. The sun was setting and the first star appeared, and, quickly, before the appearance of other stars destroyed the magic, I wished on the first star that tonight he would kiss me.

I don’t remember exactly how we reached the hill overlooking lake Lagunita, on the waters of which myriads of stars were now afloat. I think I may have positioned myself so that it would be very easy for him to kiss me. And he did so.

It was the first of seventy years worth of kisses from the one I love forever. He couldn’t return our last kiss, which I gave to him in the hospital as he lay dying. I miss his kisses, but I have a treasure trove of ones to remember. Especially that first one.

21 comments:

linda may said...

Oh Granny this bought a tear to my eye. And.... that Phillip I wouldn't have been impressed either especially so with his mothers reaction.

Giggles said...

My favorite by far!! Beautiful poignant, well written love story!! Brought a tear to my eye too!! Wow also a wonderful sketch of Otto...impressive artist hiding... Show us more!

You were so fortunate to have known a love so true!! It's rare! So glad you have some great memories to hang onto!! Thanks for always sharing with such authenticity, and truth!

Love Sherrie

Sophie said...

Seventy years of shared kisses... how blessed you were to share that kind of love. This was a beautiful story, and yes... you were a lovely little girl too!

Kristin said...

Wahhh... so powerful. I love you!

SmallWorld at Home said...

Oh, so beautiful.

bunnygirl said...

What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing such a special memory with us!

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Oh my goodness that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a lovely (true!) story about kissing. What an amazing example of life and love you and Otto provide to us all.

Maggie May said...

That was a beautiful post and very, very touching.
What a great little girl too.
Your best post yet!

Granny on the Web said...

You write so beautifully, this is another of those wonderful tributes to Otto.

Hugs and cuddles to you.
Love Granny

anthonynorth said...

Beautifully done, as always.

daria said...

I love this post Gigi!! I just shared it on my facebook page.
big kisses to you!!!

JonsterMom said...

Oh Grandma! Yours is the greatest love storyever! I feel so lucky to have spent so much of my early years surrounded by love of 2 wonderful grandparents.

Cheryl said...

I wish on the first star I see tonight, that we all could have such unfettered encounters, redolent of blossoms tucked into our pockets, that turn into lifelong loves.

Marianne said...

Your writings of the love between you and Otto continually reach in with such a gentle hand and touch my soul. Thank you again for sharing.
Yes, you were a darling wee lass.
Perhaps Phillip's mum could've taught him the valuable lesson of manners, in particular requesting if he may kiss you. I'm not at all surprised that he felt such affection for you.

Dee Martin said...

You absolutely were cute - Phillip may have been rude but at least he had good taste.
I imagine Otto waiting to return that last kiss when you join him someday.

keith hillman said...

Phyllis, it takes quite a lot to bring a tear to my eye, but the end of this beautiful piece did it for me. Lovely.

alister said...

Hahaa, it was OK for little Phillip to express his feelings but… But what is better than poison ivy together?! And the first desired kiss followed by a treasure trove of them? You are one of the luckiest alive, Granny S : )
missalister

Bethany Bassett said...

This was dizzyingly lovely. :) Your husband and the bond you shared sound like a absolutely timeless treasures.

Lucy said...

omg Grannn...
i am speechless and can't swallow over this damn lump.
The love you've shared was so so beautiful
xoxo


(congrats too on winning)

Life with Kaishon said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post. I am glad you had a love like yours. Very wonderful! I cry for your loss.

Miss J said...

I just checked in with your blog after losing touch with it a while back. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear husband.

I am married to my Highschool sweetheart - we've been together 20 years now. I only hope we get as many wonderful years together as you and Otto did. I really enjoy your stories and your blog. Thank you for sharing so beautifully about your life and love(s).

Sincerely,
Julia