first kiss

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I always say that my first kiss happened behind a couch at the age of four. All hands and knees and tips of the tongue.

 

We hardly knew what we were doing. But sensed, it was something to be done out of sight—the act of it, somehow illicit.

 

We crawled behind the living room couch, gathered our limbs beneath us, and with out palms pressed into the wood floor, leaned in, our tongues meeting in the open space between us.

 

One tip pressed against the other.

 

We were four and thought that was what French kissing was…a touch of the tongue.

 

It hardly seemed worthy of any fuss.

 

Or the subsequent fallout.

 

We hadn’t considered the window behind the couch. Had misestimated the prying eyes of our three older brothers.

 

How quickly they told our parents. And how quickly we were spoken to.

 

I remember little of what was said, but have a clear impression of how Matt and I stood to the side of his childhood home, each of our parents sitting on the swollen yellow of plastic patio furniture.

 

Matt and I are still friends.

 

And he’s done something quite worth checking out.

(But I won't give you any hints to what it is).

 

 

 

**And for what it's worth, thank goodness kissing feels just as illicit and just as exciting--when it's done well. (Albeit, for quite different reasons).**

 

 

image: TWO CHILDREN KISSING AT
TENNIS NET by Vivian Maier, 1955

the wrong room.

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I haven't stopped thinking about this since I came across it last week.

 

Sam was in town this past weekend and she's the sort of smart that's makes me want to play--her vocabulary, her zingers--it all feels like a really fun, really satisfying game.

 

I'm in the right room when I'm with her.

 

When I told her this, she said--in typical Sam fashion--I'm glad that we're in this room together. 

 

The thing about getting older is that things get clearer. Wants and needs and priorities and the engines in our chests solidify. But giving voice to these things isn't always easy--the thing may be clear, but how to explain it, not.

 

And so there's something about this notion of the wrong room that feels so spot on. Like, yeah, I want to be in the room with that person there. That person, not so much.

 

And it is clear in a way that doesn't make apologies.

 

It's a really comforting, actually, as I build my life, thinking about who I want to share that proverbial room with.

 

 

christmas in the suburbs

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Everyone always talks about--romanticizes--Christmas in New York City and I get it. Really, I do. But after living in Manhattan for so very many years, I gotta tell you, for me there is a magic in going elsewhere. In stealing away to small towns as only the Northeast can produce. There is a magic in a fully decorated house, magic in really big Christmas trees--the sort that would never fit into my small studio. Magic in lots of people being able to gather in one place. Magic in backyards with fire-pits and living rooms with fireplaces and dining room tables with stacks of Christmas tree Spode. Magic in wreaths on doors and lights on roofs and the warm glow of Christmas in the suburbs.