They say you should never kiss and tell. But then who cares what “they” say? She was dusky and sultry and I had all intentions of making a big impression on that girl. I don't remember her name. For that matter, I don't actually remember what she looked like, either. After all, we were about five years old. That was a long time ago.
For the record, I never intended to kiss the girl. Back then, girls were afflicted with an incurable malady known as cooties. I didn't know what cooties were, so I just stayed clear. I did, however, have an irrepressible urge to show off for her. Little did I know where that would lead.
My family owned a fantastic playground known as a picnic table. I'm sure I was instructed to stay off of it, but I must have been temporarily lovestruck. The picnic table sat near our elevated back porch which was made of cement. On that fateful day, I discovered a board had been left between the porch and the picnic table. My dad must have been in the middle of some project. I never gave that part a thought. I just saw it as a stage for me to show off my death-defying manliness to a fair maiden.
I ran across that board back and forth from the porch to the table several times. With each lap, I invited whatever-her-name-was to join me in the audacious fun. I was like a pirate on the high seas, laughing in the face of danger. Cannon fire and saber-to-saber combat could not frighten me! Did you see that? I ran across the plank! The world was at my whim and the lady was about to swoon.
Except she was not the swooning type. In fact, she was sort of practical. At one point, as I was about to make my return to the porch, she called out in alarm, “Watch out, the board is close to the edge!”
She, of course, did not know with whom she was dealing! I was like Superman: invincible, invulnerable, and bulletproof! (Yes, I could shift fantasies that fast.)
With my next step, I discovered that the world was made of kryptonite. I don't actually remember the fall. I only barely remember the kiss. (If you are squeamish about blood, you may want to stop reading here.)
Where was I? Ah, yes, that kiss. It was stunning. It was profound. It was monumental. It left a lifelong impression on me. It was with the edge of the cement porch, and it busted my face wide open. I bled all over the place and my mom sort of freaked out.
Besides that first kiss, I got my first stitches out of the deal. It was also the beginning of my love/hate relationship with gravity.
I've often wondered if that girl even remembers the event. I wonder if she was impressed with my cavalier indifference to danger. One thing for sure … I bet she was impressed with the way I cried.