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Fill in two names, and they’re sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
Kiss (kIs) v. 1. To touch or caress with the lips, as if in affection or greeting. 2. To touch lightly or gently. n. 1. A caress or touch with the lips. 2. A slight touch.
Yes, some love transcends STDs, but none really avoids getting caught in a treehouse, entangled in someone else’s limbs.
“A kiss is a lovely trick designed to stop speech when words become unnecessary.”
Not only does it transcend STDs, it transcends consciousness. In the movies, when one flustered lover is over-explaining something at the breakfast table, they are silenced with a kiss.
I saw them downtown, in the park, perched on the edge of an art nouveau fountain. Her hair was short and messy, in the middle of several dye jobs—I noticed because his carpenter’s hand was at the back of it, drawing her lips up to his. They had been here earlier, stopping at Speeder & Earl’s for cheap coffee and a scone in a futile attempt to ward off the New England winter. His height was in his legs—a good eleven inches above her—but when sitting they were almost at eye level. That was when they kissed. He had been feeling tired that morning but agreed to meet his girlfriend anyway, thinking caffeine would wake him up. I could smell her lip gloss—mint—as the germs, enticed by the aroma of crushed herbs, packed fatigue in old-fashioned valises and found their way into the creases of her lips, the lining of her cheek, the roof of her mouth.
Infectious mononucleosis n. An acute infectious disease caused by Epstein-Barr virus and marked by fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and lymphocyte abnormalities. It primarily affects adolescents and young adults, being spread by saliva transfer and other modes.
Slang: mono, kissing disease.
When the kiss broke off, their breath congealed in the air, with every exhale casting more germs out, concealed in clouds of smog and moisture. He took another sip of cold coffee where the grains had settled at the bottom, drinking it black. She blew steam to warm her hands inside home-knitted mittens. Her coffee, too, had cooled since their brisk walk, where they had half-skipped, hands in each other’s pockets. He put his arm around her frail shoulders, and apologized for being so out of sorts today, but he felt sick and had to go home.
“Love is a disease!”
The germs that had lodged in the grooves of her mouth slowly trekked down the sides of her throat, shimmying into an unexplored cave. They teetered on the tip of her veins before diving into the bloodstream.
I could see them wave goodbye, after another peck on the cheek, leaving a mint-flavored mark on his sandpaper face. He felt it when the wind blustered against him, like inhaling after a peppermint. The green and white striped tube stuck out of his girlfriend’s pocket. I could see her get up, thighs numb from the marble fountain, and hurry to Speeder & Earl’s for another coffee.
She showed up again the next day, after the first snowfall, but without her boyfriend. She’s woken up feverish, languid, and decided that a walk in the biting air would do her good. I could tell what she was thinking—get out of the house, you hermit! That day she didn’t have enough for more than a small green tea at Starbucks. The day after that she wasn’t there at all.
When the doctors drew his blood, they found matching anomalies in hers. The germs had set up camp, on the inner tube white cells, coursing down through blood channels. Two months later, I saw him walking to her house, the snow a foot deep now, not bothering to stop for coffee. And when he got there, I believe, he tried to kiss her. But she was too listless to kiss back.
| Kissing is wonderful. Too bad I haven't been able to do much of it. I think I kissed a girl a few times. That's about it. But that has been the one and only time, and it was years ago. We were barely teens, so I guess it doesn't count. And a mother's kiss doesn't count either. I don't kiss my mother anymore though. I just give hugs. Lots and lots of warm hugs.|
I like how you told a story but then spliced in little quotes and anecdotes for foreshadowing and effect. This was really neat. I love it.
And I also love how you showed the germs, like a veritable army of infectious love, slowly seeping and invading the girl. *Sigh* For a disease, it doesn't sound so bad. Wait...did I just say that? I guess I am really longing for the sweet lips of a woman. Well, I'm an 18 year old guy. What can you expect?
This was cool. Excellent job, Melora.
Oh, give us a kiss, love.
|| Posted on 2007-10-24 00:00:00 | by AsiaticFox | [ Reply to This ] || you are hysterical. You are taking a pick axe to ordinary (commonly overwrought) subjects and exposing the absurd. or the germs that float beneath small romantic acts. its quite funny. i was just sitting here, eating some stirfry, and reading your stuff, and that is my conclusion. very cleaver way of kicking us belwo the violin of some trite sweet little scene to expose the DISGUSTING. and i like to take things and run with them, so i will say that this may reveal something of the relationship, too. things can look great from far away, but rather horrid under a microscope.|
and thanks for staking me, i am very flattered by the gesture!
|| Posted on 2007-02-18 00:00:00 | by screams | [ Reply to This ] || I like your defining of things. At times it can annoy people, but I think it gives a little more understanding in the story. Mono isn't that bad, as long as it is controlled that is. My girlfriend has mono....makes me think twice. |
I never knew kissing passed STD's, but I wouldn't argue the possibility.
It is written very nicely, good use of puntuation and words. It is a good storyline, but are you saying kissing is bad per say ?
|| Posted on 2007-01-07 00:00:00 | by djtswing | [ Reply to This ] || Kissing disease...I had mono once...it's not that bad you just get really tired...but I really liked this...I like reading things that keep me interested to the point that I want to keep reading when they are over...kudos...kisses~Ashley~||| Posted on 2006-12-21 00:00:00 | by redeemer | [ Reply to This ] || VERY interesting. A story for sure, but punctuated with quotations and definitions. Some people don't like that kind of stuff - they think, I believe, it takes your attention away from the story, but I'm just the opposite. I think it adds to it. Definitely drew my attention. Like I said, very interesting. |
I guess I didn't get the "message" or "point", but to me, I didn't think there needed to be one...did there? It was interesting and made me think about couples and kissing and mono and STDs...plus, I learned a few things. I mean, I think it was excellent. A favorite for sure.
|| Posted on 2006-12-20 00:00:00 | by SouthernState | [ Reply to This ] || Mel,|
I read this two nights ago and thought it was very well done. The use of quotations and definitions are very on par with your writing style and I thought they worked well here once again. They add that certain clinical detachment from the emotional layer of the piece.
It's both a matter of astute observation, penetrating assessment, and a kind of third person objectiveness that never really gets untangled from the subjective. Yes, the speaker is trying to remove herself from the equation of these two people, these sharers of illness and affection, but she never quite makes it. There is a greater sense of involvement belied from the careful nitpicking details (like the way her hair was styled, what she was drinking each time, etc.).
I found it to be very intriguing. A multi-layered piece rich with new ideas and different perspectives. I particularly liked how you described his legs as "eleven inches" instead of his full height measurement. It is that kind of creative detailing that brings me back to your work again and again.
A great read. Thanks.
|| Posted on 2006-12-07 00:00:00 | by drowning_queen | [ Reply to This ] || Well, I found this interesting. I like it too. However, there are a few things upon which you could work. You have a few errors, tree house is two words, and you misspelled nouveau. I also have a problem with "His height was in his legs—a good eleven inches—but when sitting they were almost at eye level." I think that, perhaps, you mean five feet eleven inches. There were a few commas and things I found questionable, so I'd look over those, but I'm pretty sleep-deprived, so my judgment isn't its best.|
It's nice to see someone trying new things around here,
|| Posted on 2006-12-06 00:00:00 | by cuddledumplin | [ Reply to This ] || uh... yeah, I really liked it, screw you all. :P. There doesn't have to be a POINT. It's arty and pretty and makes you go oh[censored]. It provokes a reaction, it makes you look at your own life... do we think about the consequences of our actions? This isn't necessarily about kissing, it's about being aware of yourself and that the little things you do can mean a lot, okay I guess it does have a point... :P but the point isn't stop kissing. And it's not about hormones, or whatever. Or maybe it's meant to be interpreted however you choose. ~Cora||| Posted on 2006-12-05 00:00:00 | by Cora Windover | [ Reply to This ] || Alright ya..........I can see we have 2 diffrent perfectives. or I should say the we see things. is differnt.|
gooooood work I liked it. But I must say people
are people. WE have a nature. We are hard wired (so 2 speak). Just like animals we are going 2 do what we are going to do. In a way it goes past our oun understanding. It is what it is.
Sorry I am tired..........However u cought my attention I will come back..........
|| Posted on 2006-12-05 00:00:00 | by ooononotthatguy | [ Reply to This ] || This is the point in this piece? Do you want people to stop kissing? The style was cool, I liked the different angles it was looked on, it added depth, but depth to a murky message. STDs are crap, I think i've got one right now actually (I know, its gross) so it kind of ironic that I'm reading this.|
Very interesting style indeed
|| Posted on 2006-12-05 00:00:00 | by Sethesin | [ Reply to This ] |