The First Kiss

She was my first girlfriend, I suppose, and certainly the shortest lasting; our relationship began a day or two before, then evaporated at some point shortly after, the following event. Ellen was the daughter of a well-known photographer that shot for children’s books from his plane; extremely cool to a young man that wished he could fly. I was, perhaps, 12.

I convinced Ellen to take a walk with me; we headed to the jetty at Georgica Beach in East Hampton. The mood was perfect: it was off-season and the beach was empty, the grey water thrashing and slamming against the rocks, us keeping warm in our puffy down jackets.

It was time to throw caution to the wind and go in for the first kiss.

Success! She reciprocated. I was thrilled. Next up, a kiss with my mouth opening, tongue exploring just what, exactly, was what. Unfortunately, we weren’t on the same page, and my tongue slammed into her clenched teeth. Dismayed and foiled, my tongue slinked back into my own sad mouth.

“No Frenching yet,” she told me.

I always did push my luck.

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