I’m walking a thin line with this blog. I’m purposefully not mentioning most people who are still alive and active. Unless they really piss me off…This also means the ones I do mention can’t fight back.
But, I won’t go further in this forum. I love and respect my friends- and some of my family- too much to share secrets they might not want me to share. So far…
I’ll have to fictionalize things better if I do ever try to make this into a novel so I can cover more ground…
It does sometimes make me a little sad to have so many important memories that I share about people who are no longer here..but I guess that’s one of the downsides to getting older. You realize you have outlived some of the most important people in your life.
But you are still here, so they really are, too. You carry the ones who are gone with you as part of yourself and your memories. And that counts for a lot…
I’m going to talk about my first “real” kiss. I think it’s a moment most of us remember. How we remember it and what it meant changes over the course of time..
My friend Dennis gave me my first “real” kiss. I mean no disrespect to the girls I kissed before, but this is the one I remember as the first “real one”. This one counted.
I had a complicated relationship with Dennis. He was brilliant, attractive, impetuous, totally secure and totally insecure all at the same time.
He was our superstar. We all thought he would win a Tony, an Oscar and end up President of the United States. He was the center of our high school universe.
Dennis was brilliant, talented and a mess.
When we went to see Dennis at his house, we never knew if we were going to find the Dennis who was totally together, sitting at his desk smoking and writing a brilliant tretise in Latin or the Dennis who was laying in his bed under the covers claiming to be too depressed to move and waiting to be reborn as the Phoenix was…
He was a wonderful piece of work.
We all spent a lot of time at his house as his Mother was a “divorcee” and therefore out of town a lot. In those days, Divorcee’s went to Greensboro for dates, with their toothbrushes in their purse, so people in Danville wouldn’t talk about them.
Apparently the Moral Majority drove by Divorcee’s homes to see if unusual cars were there overnight in those days….
My Mother certainly seemed to know every move his Mother made. She was quite disturbed that we spent time at his house, but not enough to do anything about it.
Funny, but his Mother seemed to be the only happy Mother that we knew. According to Dennis, her marriage to his father had been unhappy and abusive. She was free and quite happy when we knew her. I think any residual damage Dennis suffered came from the fact that their marriage lasted as long as it did. And I think the other Mothers hated her for her guts and freedom.
I’ll never forget that we took a snow day off from school and built a “Snow Penis” in their front yard. Most of our Mother’s would have been scandalized. Dennis’ mom came home at lunch and said: “Is that what I think it is? If you make a bigger one, call me…”
We loved her and we loved Dennis.
I think all of the girls we knew and half of the boys were in love with him…
I never was…
I loved Dennis, but I was never in love with him. I always thought he was too self centered, too self absorbed and a bit of a mess. I somehow knew he would disappoint us- and he did…I tried to keep a bit of a distance between us….But even I was captivated by him at times.
I stopped by one night when I was about 17. He was alone and talking with a friend on the phone. He let me know it was an older guy he was having an affair with. I don’t know if it was physical or emotional at that point. It doesn’t matter…
He got off the phone and sat back and lit a cigarette. He offered me one and I had one also. Then Dennis said, “I need to do something”.
He put his cigarette in the ashtray and leaned over and kissed me. It was a soft, but firm kiss. Brief, but lingering. I started to shake uncontrolably. Walls crashed and barriers broke. I quickly patched them back together, caught my breathe and continued to shake.
Dennis said: “I wanted to do that. I needed to do that. That’s all…one day you’ll take this farther, but not now…It was just the moment. It’s from me and from my friend to let you know you are one of us…”
I sat there stunned and shaking. My other friends came in a couple of minutes latter and we acted like nothing had happened.
But my world was never the same….
It took me 4 or 5 years until I kissed another man. And it did go further because I was ready then…
But I’ll never forget the first, real kiss…
Or my friend Dennis….
Gone way too soon…
Pingback: Chapter 39: My First Kiss | My Southern Gothic Life « Lost in the 21st Century
Funny, I knew Dennis and never saw him that way or thought about his (or anybody else’s for that matter) sexuality. I remember going to his house, never thought twice about the fact that his mother wasn’t there. I think you knew just a little too much about everybody, Scott! lol
I remember when his mom remarried and she and her new husband moved into the house across the street from us. She was a funny lady. And you are right, the other moms were jealous of her. I know my mother was.
I think you could write about any of us and it would be okay, just don’t think it would be interesting to anyone but us. I would love to peek inside your head, just to see the memories.
Thanks, Gail! I spent entirely too much time observing and thinking and filing away bits of information.
I’ve also been amazed that other people do seem to find this stuff interesting! I’ve had over 2500 “hits” on these posts on this new blog in just a few months. Someone is reading this stuff besides you, Steve, Doug, Carolyn,Van, Deane and Renee!
I’ve had several people say I should try to make it a book. We must be much more interesting than we ever realized!
Just reading this……I agree with Gail! I want to get into your head! You certainly kept this in the closet!! However, looking back, it is all starting to make sense after 30+ years.