We called him Og the Caveman. He was unattractive, uninteresting, and evidently smitten with the stories and essays I wrote for freshman year's English class. He waited for me every Tuesday and Thursday after class. No matter the twenty-minute long chat I'd have with our professor, no matter my quickly darting out of class to "use the bathroom", and no matter how many times I whipped out the cell phone after class, Og the Caveman patiently dismissed my subtle rejections and walked with me/followed me to my next class, or my car, or wherever I was going that day. Even when I changed the topic of conversation to electrical engineering or road pavement, he viciously campaigned for "Creepy Campus Stalker 2003" with no avail.
Incidentally, it would be another six years before I would learn to solidly reject the unyielding gent.
This creature, whose actual name I could never attempt to remember, was knighted "Og the Caveman" over cheap wine and video games one night in my best friend's bedroom. My best friend, whose name I couldn't forget if I tried, will be called "Blaine" for the sake of this story. Without writing a novel of unnecessary detail, I initially fell in love with Blaine one August morning when he got kicked out of psychology class for showing up in full Dick Tracey get-up. It was the first time I had laid eyes on him, and I instantly knew he was going to be the bane of my existence (or at least of those painfully awkward high school-into-college years).
Blaine and I spent most nights averting our studies with video game marathons and Shakespeare readings.....because we were EPIC nerds.....and one night while laughing wildly over Og the Caveman's increasingly hopeless advances, Blaine suggested solving the problem by showing up to campus and "pretending" to be my boyfriend. Because I am a fool, I loved the idea and we set up a time, date and place.
I think it was a Tuesday. Blaine sent me an email that morning, explaining that since he had to drive his father to the doctor, he might not make it on time to save me from another Tuesday in the Park with Og. Bummer, but I went to class anyway.
Class ended. Og waited. I think we were talking about Chaucer, and I can't tell you how much I hate the Canterbury Tales. We walked outside. I bit my grievances and cursed Blaine under my breath. It was one of those absurdly sunny days, the kind Irony craftily plans for the one day you forget your sunglasses. I don't think I could see three feet in front of me. We walked across the lawn, which incidentally looks exactly like every lawn on every college campus- big, green, and full of bleeding heart liberal youth that rebels against the sidewalk!
I remember seeing Blaine for a split second. I remember feeling shocked that he made it. And then I remember his face pressed against mine. I remember naturally tilting my face to the right. And I remember how his hand's gentle whisp against my hip prompted me to lift myself onto my toes. Because he was kissing me. Oh, God, he was kissing me.
Evidently, Og had been calling my name the whole time, trying to say "good-bye" or something. Evidently, there could have been earthquakes and lightning storms and the Ten Plagues of Egypt and I wouldn't have heard a thing. I don't know how someone calling out your own name five or six times goes unheard, but in the midst of that kiss, the world around me stopped.
I will never know if it was the intensity of the shock, or the sheer euphoria, or perhaps an entirely coincidental momentary paralysis of my senses, but while Blaine was kissing me, the earth disappeared and there was nothing around or beyond us. Most people describe a memorable kiss with fireworks, but I could have been chained to a pyrotechnics's boat in the middle of Navy Pier on the 4th of July, and I wouldn't have heard a thing.
Since then, I've shelved that memory, and that phenomena, as perhaps the bizarre combo of Swimmer's Ear and the "first kiss jitters" (because Mike Semen during Spin the Bottle doesn't really count). I did have a few sinus infections that year.
Since then, I've kissed quite a few boys, and even a couple of men. In retrospect, I've shared more "first kisses"on playground equipment than in any other setting, but I'll save those anecdotes and their corresponding Daddy issues for my shrink.
Fast forward five years, about fifty kisses, and exactly four lovers.
And now it's Super Bowl Sunday. The game is over, and Old Man Luvin is so drunk, I think he's going to pass out in his own bowl of homemade chili. You and I are safely intoxicated, and we've watched our last mediocre commercial. Following my passionate ramble about the mediocrity of said commercials, you tell me that you love how nervous I get when I'm around you.
Fast forward another five minutes, and we're making out in the snow. You've thrown me into a giant pile of snow, and we roll around for another five minutes touching and kissing and violating some old man's front lawn. And I don't remember being cold. And I don't remember feeling wet. Correction: I don't remember the snow making me feel wet. I don't remember goosebumps nor shivers nor the burn against my skin when it touches snow. In January. I would later tell you that I must have lost my baseball cap in that pile of snow, because I would have felt the snow against the back of my neck otherwise, but now I know that's not the case.
If you kiss all girls like that when you've had too much Old Style, you should consider contacting them for a commercial campaign.
I like you. I don't want you to say anything, because I know it doesn't matter. But I just wanted you to know.
Also, I like grapes.