Monday, October 26, 2015

The Kissing Contest

The theme of
her 8th grade
boy-girl birthday party
was “Tonight’s the Night”
by Rod Stewart.

Barely teenage couples
slow-danced and
laughed in the
nervous darkness.

Then came the
hotly anticipated,
much whispered about
“who could kiss
the longest?” contest,
a gauntlet
presumably intended
to discern some kind of
bravado and boldness
for its participants.

Despite my overweight
bookworm status,
I knew I could win this,
and I was matched up with
the only other Mexican invited.

The timer started
and the competing couples
all lunged in:

the others catcalled, hooted,
vicariously enjoying the
implied bravery
of this all,
it was just an act,
there was no passion –
just lip-to-lip suction.

Like most guys,
I learned how to
disassociate my feelings
from my body
in kindergarten,
when boys are taught
to ignore their boundaries
of privacy
and learn to urinate
standing next to
some random 5 year old
in an accompanying stall.

Compared to that,
kissing a girl
was a piece of cake,
a party game
to be won,
and we did,

and I still have
the prize:
a 45 single
of Peter Frampton’s
“Do You Feel
Like We Do?”


  1. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Well, this was just awesome. Barley teenaged couples, Peter Frampton, & Rod Stewart...a perfect ode to love in the 70's/80's. Very cute the bit about peeing in a kinder public stall. Now, I must go listen to you & Debbie's love song...oh ya. We were having some fun, huh?

    1. Oh, if I only knew then what I know now... Thanks, still love "Frampton Comes Alive" album.

    2. Thanks for catching "barley" - should have been "barely" unless, of course, my error makes it more "poetical." :)

  2. Enjoyed this...oh, those were the days when anything could light your world. Well penned.

    1. Exactly, it was a small pleasure, but it was a real blast at the time. Such a clod I was. Thanks.

  3. Oh, man. I love this. my kids are both in junior high. Eeeeeek.

    1. Thanks, de! And good luck with those rambunctious middle schoolers!

  4. What a memory! But Frampton's not bad . . .

    1. Thanks, and I hope I didn't give the impression that Frampton was anything but great. He's an even better musician now! Frampton Rules, Nicolas Jr. High, Class of 1977!

  5. I barely remember those parties.. and the games we had to play.. spinning a bottle and playing truth or dare.. kissing the cutest girl in the class... what memories.

    1. Thanks, and those memories get dimmer with time.

  6. What a wonderful memory. I never attended a party like that. I am sure I wouldn't have been kissed, or if I was it would have been on a dare.

    1. Thanks, and I'm sure you would've been a kissing machine if someone double-dog-dared-ya to.

  7. Yeah, this strikes chords for sure. Ah, Debbie. Do you feel like I do? Maybe you do :)

    1. Yes, when I hear those guitar notes to this day, I remember.

  8. I remember reading this poem! Adore the adolescent insecurities (from a distanced that is - I'd NEVER want to go back) and yes PETER FRAMPTON - my older sister had a huge poster of him in her bedroom and this album she played all the time. Ha.