2003-11-19 - 2:42 p.m.

That list yesterday got me thinking about kisses. Okay, that list yesterday got me thinking about lists, watching Toby Keith on Sharon Osborne last night got me thinking about kissing, but I digress (me? never.)

So I'm gonna throw this out there and anyone who feels like shraring their answers can do it in comments,notes, or an email to me (though truthfully, if it's juicy it'll probably end up here even if you send it private like).

1.Kisses that should NOT have happened:

Kissing Jerry of the Prickly Tongue was a mistake.

2. Kiss that didn’t happen, shouldn’t have happened, but you still wish did:

This one is bad. New Years Eve, I was…uh, 20? I was babysitting for the same folks I was always babysitting for, whose children I mostly raised. The mom’s an alcoholic (and years later we find out she also has MS which accounted for a lot of stuff we blamed on personality defects at the time) and the dad and I were always cool with each other. Most of the time I felt more like the wife/mom than the babysitter, but she was one of my best friends, so it wasn’t…I dunno, not exactly like it sounds I guess.

I had been sitting for them since I was about 14 and was a born flirt so I was always hanging off Big Jim (the dad). The only person who seemed to take this even the smallest bit seriously was his mother-in-law who once told her daughter that I was trying to take her husband. Uh, not really, I just flirt with whoever’s in the room.

Anyway, this one new years eve I was babysitting and was supposed to have my “best friend” at the time (though not for very long afterward) babysitting with me. She was in love with a guy named Dan Yugalini (remember this name, it will return) who was a dj at both our college radio station and the local AM country station. He had told her in no uncertain terms that he was interested only in friendship, but love is blind, deaf and dumb and so she went off to keep him company at the radio station for “a half hour or so” before coming to babysit with me and ring in the new year.

I had become increasing annoyed by her chasing of this guy. I hadn’t met him yet but didn’t understand the chasing of any guy, if he wants you, he’ll chase you, otherwise, what’s the point right? She was acting a fool and I was stuck on New Years Eve without anyone to drink with. I couldn’t very well invite over the guy I was seeing at the time (my science lab professor…some things never change) so I was on my own.

The good thing about babysitting for this particular couple, well, one of the many good things, was that his dad owned a liquor store and they were always well stocked. Never cared if we drank ourselves stupid, as long as we were going straight home, which entailed walking two houses down the street. When I was younger and very flirty I used to make Big Jim walk me home, claiming fear of the dark, or the dog next door. Really I was just exercising my “do this for me” muscles. They’re well developed, as almost anyone will tell you.

We (this ‘best friend’ and I) babysat frequently, but almost never, if ever, let our drinking get out of hand. They never came home to find us drunk, perhaps a bit “tipped” as we called it at the time.

Alone on New Years Eve I went for DRUNK in a big fat hairy way. I drank about anything I could get my hands on. By the time ‘b.f.’ returned I was well into lala land and encouraging her to drink heavily in order to “catch up”. She complied and when Big Jim and his wife got home we were taking turns spinning each other on the kitchen floor. One would lie on their back while the other stood and grabbed her feet and spun her around. It was readily apparent that we were in rough shape. The wife was even worse. She made it up the stairs of the split-level and promptly passed out on the sofa. Big Jim coaxed us into eating cake and drinking some coffee in an attempt to sober us just a bit before walking us home to my mom who would NOT find the humor of spinning. B.F. fought the cake eating, I have no idea why but she really was violently opposed to eating the cake, and then gave in and took her cake in front of the Christmas tree where she had an argument with a Bert (of Ernie and Bert fame) ornament before joining the unconscious club. Jim and I settled on the sofa to watch…something, I don’t remember, on tv.

I should say that in general when there was tv watching at that house, which happened quite a lot, I usually shared a sofa with Big Jim, and normally would lie with my feet tucked happily under his behind, or sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, lying with my head resting on his shoulder. I tell you this so that you understand, when we settled together on the sofa, my head lolling against his chest it wasn’t unheard of. It wasn’t something that would send up alarms. I’ll tell a little secret. I had stopped drinking alcohol well before b.f. got home. I was drunk, for certain, when she had arrived, and buzzed when we were spinning on the floor, but by the time I hit that sofa with Big Jim I was right next door to sober.

He didn’t need to know that.

I started with my head against his chest, I moved to my head in his lap, watching the tv, at first chatting drunkenly, then acting sleepy, then innocently turning in my half asleep mode so that my face was snuggled right there in the crotch of his jeans. Was there a response? You better believe it, but the rest of him stayed still and let me “sleep”. When I finally sat up it was in his arms and I rested my head on his shoulder. There was a moment…there could have been a kiss in that moment, we both felt that…lingering kiss, just there beyond what we could bring ourselves to do, and then it was broken. We woke the b.f. and he walked us home.

Years later he and I were having a heart to heart about our strange friendship, how sometimes we felt like father and daughter, other times husband and wife, and still other times drinking buddies. I didn’t think he’d even remember that new years eve, let alone mention it, but he did. “You know, that night, if you had been 18 I think I would have carried you into the bedroom and slept with you.” “Jim?” “Yeah?” “I was 20.” “No Shit! I thought you were 17. Fuck.”

I’m glad it didn’t happen, because his wife and kids are so important to me, and I’d hate to have that secret from them, but damn…

3. Kiss that defined kissing for you:

Jefferson William White. What can I say, that first kiss, in the basement of Northeast Broadcasting School, my back against a wall, his arm holding me up because my knees had buckled the moment our mouths met, the thumb of his opposite hand tracing tight little urgent circles on my thigh, just under my shorts. Whew! It was the who more than anything else about it.

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