My balcony affords me many things… A place to try and colour my thumbs green (sadly with sometimes tragic consequences)… A place from which to cloud gaze and merrily observe birds in flight… A place from which to admire my beloved stone church as its stained glass windows punctuate the dark… A place to whittle away the hours, fingers on keyboard… But perhaps most of all, it is here that I come to watch the world beneath go by and steal glimpses into the stories of others… Yes, I confess, I am incurably curious. I like to think it’s an occupational hazard. A relatively harmless one I hope.
But so it is, with this incurable curiosity, that I found myself an evening ago, glass of wine in hand, absorbed in a couple walking down my street. Hand in hand, they came to a halt at the gate of the flats on the other side. There they placed their hands on each other’s faces and kissed, illuminated by the streetlight. They knew not that I was intruding on their tender moment. I suspect for them, so consumed as they were by the locking of lips, surely the rest of existence had fallen away. It seemed a fitting farewell for the two young lovers. Till they meet again. But instead of seeing her off at the gate, the kiss finally ended, and once again their fingers intertwined and off they strolled beyond my scope. This was no goodbye. It was an intervention against time, the world stilled so that two lovers could share a kiss before starting the clock yet again.
I thanked the universe for this pearl. I’d forgotten just what a simple kiss could mean. I grew nostalgic and thought back to my own first kiss. My formative years were spent pining for the dark and brooding figures in Bronte novels… Like Harlequin Romances, they filled my head with Rochesters and Heathcliffs and I imagined a life on the moors, me the deeply misunderstood governess where still waters ran deep. As such, years went by where I had very little interest in actual boys, ofttimes bordering on faint disdain, and very nearly made it to sweet sixteen and never been kissed. But then, eventually, a very sweet boy happened upon my path and would soon come to steal my heart. One lazy Summer’s afternoon, as we nestled together in a hammock talking about everything and nothing in particular, I was kissed for the first time by a boy.
So today, wherever you may be, sweet, sweet boy, my first love, I thank you for the gift of a kiss. The Bronte sisters never prepared me for you.
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt