"Are you going to write a post?" asked Rosie on gchat, earlier. I asked her for an idea to write about, and she suggested this assignment. The particulars of your first kiss. A meme, I suppose, but without the the tagging bit that everyone hates.
So, my first kiss. Were you not there? Fucking everyone else was.
Her name was Jane. No, it wasn't and it isn't but she's the type who might even be reading here without knowing this is me so I'm gonna leave it at Jane. We were 14 and Jane fancied me, despite my skin looking as though I was prone to rubbing it with the inside of a chip bag. I fancied Jane, too, though at 14 I fancied anything female between the ages of 12 and 90. Jane was, umm, an early-developer and the source of much macho muttering during warm-up laps before P.E. class. Double D, I was to find out later.
Jane flirted outrageously with me in science class and I didn't know what to do about it. I was no doubt supposed to seize the initiative in some way, but that was years beyond me yet. So one of her brassier friendds simply marched up to me at lunchtime one tuesday and said "Will you go with Jane?" I mumbled my assent and, even then, wondered why American teen films propagated this whole myth of 'dating'. You didn't date people in school, you just went with them and instantly assumed the status of boyfriend and girlfriend. And if you tired of them after an hour or so you dumped them, with the message preferably relayed by one of your friends.
Anyway, Jane was now my girlfriend, though I didn't know where she was. Apparently, we had to seal the deal by shifting (it was still 'shifting' then, 'meeting' didn't make it's way to Wicklow till I was about 16). This was to take place around the back of the bike-sheds. Yeah, I know. Even at 14 I think I found the cliché distasteful. But that's what we did. And word got around our classmates, so most of them came too. My first kiss ended up being much the same as my wife's experience, only that I was the one against the wall, and I was the one not knowing where to put my hands, not sure what the fuck was going on. In other words, I was the girl. Jane had boasted, during our times of awkward, stunted flirting that she had kissed nine guys. Previous action for me had consisted of some hardcore hand-holding with a girl at summer camp, but I implied that I was on a respectable total, and that a gentleman doesn't discuss such things. Jane must have seen through this because she guided things entirely, slipping her tongue into my bewildered mouth and swirling it around, as per the fashion. Our large audience stayed respectfully quiet, but drew the attention of a teacher on yard duty, meaning things were wrapped up hastily. But, like some shit out of Harry Potter, flesh memory meant my tongue stayed revolving for about 24 hours after. I didn't hug my mum when I came home from school that day in case she could smell it off me.
Jane and I went out for six months after that - a startlingly long time for 14 year-olds. By "went out" I mean "spent six months searching for secluded areas in which to grope each other", before she broke my heart by declaring that she would like to shift beaucoup d'autre blokes on our French exchange trip. Five years, and then six years, later I took great relish in toying with her emotions when I should really have been long over it, and she me. I was like that, once.