June 4, 2003

Lines and Arrows

We kissed for the first time at the northeast corner of St. Marks and Fourth Avenue. It was raining. We had been walking in the rain for several blocks and I was standing to her left, holding her umbrella above us. We were standing so close that our arms were almost but not quite touching. The light was red. I believe she had just been explaining why she wasn’t wearing her sweater, despite the rain. It was because she wanted something dry to wear later, which seemed more important than to be warmer now. I didn’t say this at the time, but I totally respected her logic and in fact this may be why I kissed her.

She was wearing white and red sneakers which I believe are called Vans. Normally I don’t notice such things, but these sneakers were adorable. When I first saw them I remembered that on our first date she wore blocky black sneakers which I couldn’t help but find sexy. Truth is, I’m usually impervious to such things; if anything it’s a turn-off when I sense that a woman devotes too much attention to fashion. The sneakers were white with little red flowers. The red matched the red of her pants. Later she confessed that she had left her entire wardrobe in a giant pile on her bed, which may have been the hottest thing any woman has ever said to me.

The way the kiss happened was that I turned to her and started kissing her, without really thinking about it. Well, there was a bit more to it of course. Because as I moved in I definitely looked to see if I had permission to do so. Did she tilt her head in acceptance? Did she part her lips slightly? Probably she did both, although I don’t pretend to remember. In baseball this is called a bang-bang play. A player slides into second, the throw comes in, the second baseman catches it and slaps the runner with his glove, and that’s it, it’s over, bang-bang, no time for anyone to think about what’s happening. Contrast this with the kiss itself, during which I focused entirely on the fact that we were kissing, that those lips touching mine, as well as that flicker of tongue, belonged to her. This part was more like those slow-motion replays, usually in basketball, in which the announcer scribbles a bunch of lines and arrows on the screen to explain what just happened and how it relates to what previously happened and how it reflects and reveals what each team is trying at this moment to do, beneath all the lines and arrows.