The kiss. The thought of it hung in the air. He cooked boiled cauliflower, not a kissable vegetable at the best of times, and you looked at him and wondered, when will it be?
You curled on the couch next to him, eyeing him like a crocodile. You wanted to know all about him. What he ate. What he read. When he slept. How he..kissed.
A kiss is a beautiful thing, you said. You wrote it – distance your protection. A kiss is an art form. I am the artist. Are you marble, or clay?
It is indeed, he said. Did he mean your kiss? Or just those anonymous kisses, offered by anonymous women, women who have no gift as you do, for the sensuous metaphor that is kissing.
You smiled at him from feet away, willing the inches to close. You ate chocolate, he did too. You gazed at him and licked your fingers, one by one. They were a mess!
I always get it all over me when I eat chocolate.
You touched his hand, turned it over. It’s a small hand, but then, he’s a small man. There isn’t any chocolate on his fingertips. He was lying.
How come it melts on you and not on me? Your hands feel cooler than mine.
And you touch his fingertips. With your fingertips, you send a message. Kiss me.
You like each other. You talk, you laugh, you smile. And all the time you wonder, when..
So how’s it going, this dating? he asks, bringing his face forward, eye to eye. You’re confused. You blush. You are not witty, you’re one -tracked.
And you’re about to say something, something bashful and stumbling, when his lips swoop upon yours – just like a magpie diving on a bicyclist, or a seagull on a chip – and kiss you – KISS you – and then swoop away. There, he’s done it. You laugh, at the absurdity of it, and out of sheer joy and lust.
You try every kind of kiss that night. The feathery sort, that sort of lands and then sort of hovers away, sucking the nectar. The snake kiss, with flickering tongue touching and quickly pulling away to laugh and try again. The lover’s kiss, mouth on mouth, feeling the stranger’s soul. The urgent kiss, which clamps the pair of lovers together while their hands work on bra and belt and shirt button and back of waist and down pants and towards the bedroom or the floor.
And then – you stand back and look at your mobile.
I’ve got to go.
Do you? Do you really have to?
I really have to.
You’re fizzing with sex, you can feel it sparking down your ribcage and pooling around your thighs, you would like nothing better than to carry him off or be carried off by him, even better, and still clamped at the mouth, to weld yourself together at every other point – chest, stomach, crotch, legs.
But you have to go. You don’t want stationery cupboard sex – and you have somewhere you must be.
You kiss each other good night. You go home, and wait. You’re still waiting.