You’ve read about how I met my husband in Some Enchanted Evening. I invite you to share the inevitable next step of our courtship.
How about a little fun? How about a story about a first kiss, that led to a second kiss, that led to years and years of kisses.
This is where Alan kissed me the first time, in my kitchen, with his body pressing mine into the edge of the counter.
A midsummer’s eve, with us racing up the back stairs to my apartment so I could grab something and we could rush out the front door to his car and the next place we had to be, the next party of friends who were waiting for us.
Slow down for a moment. Forget all those things that you absolutely have to do in the next 30 minutes. Allow yourself the pleasure of getting lost in this painting.
Why is it so widely loved? Is it the complexity of pattern, the way that the background flows into his garment, which flows into hers without clear demarcations? Is it the abundance of rich gold, contrasted against the traces of bright blue, red and green? Is it the slightness of her body pressed against the dominating mass of his body? Is it the precise molding of her face, the glimpse of her shoulder?
Digging through my desk recently I came across a long-forgotten folder of sketches I’d written when Alan and I were living in Paris in the mid 1980’s. Here’s one of them.
Contented marriage to a handsome American man hasn’t keep me from observing the beauty of Parisian men.
I started observing my first day in Paris, one of those rare bright February days when everyone strolls the boulevards to get reacquainted with the sun. The Champs-Elysees was packed. Our taxi was stuck in traffic. He jogged up to the corner from Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, hesitated a bit, then thread his way in front of us, through the honking jam of buses, cars and taxis. Light brown hair blown back from his face, except for the comma that fell over his forehead. Strong square jaw, high cheek bones and heavy-lidded eyes. He must be a movie star or at least a male model, I thought then. Now I know he was probably an architect, bank clerk or accountant. Handsome men aren’t that uncommon in Paris. I see at least one a day.
Here we are, stuck in traffic. Can you pick out the man I spotted?
I touched his knee, that’s all. It happened accidentally, quite innocently. I leaned forward toward the driver, Trevor, to make a suggestion, he spun the steering wheel, the tiny Fiat swerved and I reached out to get my balance.
My hand landed on the knee of the tall, blonde, handsome executive crammed in the back seat next to me. That’s how it started.
Why is a kiss on the lips so intimate? What about that contact of lips on lips raises goose bumps up and down my arms, while a kiss on the cheek is a mere nothing at all? Why can a kiss on the lips be laden with more meaning than the full-fledged sex act?
I don’t know. Don’t have a clue.
What I do know is that my first kiss as a divorced woman was delivered by a cab driver. Juan Carlos was his name. I met him when he picked up Ellen, Gary and me outside our hotel in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Our destination was an elegant bar high above
the town. We could have walked, but in our dresses and high-heeled sandals, Ellen and I would have been awkward and uncomfortable.
So we flagged down Juan Carlos, who drove us up the hill. He waited while we sipped margaritas and watched the sun slide down the sky and slip behind the hills on the opposite side of the bay.