Things I would like to Remember about our First Kiss.

Via on Aug 23, 2013

birth of venus shell cocoon

Read the first, Things I would like to do with you in the Woods, first. Read the second, Things I would like to do with you this Evening, second. This is the third. Now, there’s a fourth: Things I would like to do with you in Time.

Twenty Things I would like to Remember about the Day of our First Kiss.

None of this happened. But if it did happen, it would be with you and it would go like this.

I would like to be able to look back, some day far away, and remember these things.

I would like to remember my first sight of you in years.

Perhaps when you walk up and I first see you I’ll be playing basketball, alone, sweat stinging my eyes. I’ll be visiting Vermont, and you’ll drive over from a neighboring town where you’ll be living for a time, sad but good, building a little house. And you’ll visit me while I’m visiting my childhood home in Vermont. Our childhood home, for we knew each other here when younger, and you’ve lived here, too.

I’ll be playing ball when I see you and I’ll be happy, having finally returned to the old barn red, green valley home of my youth. The sun is warm on my pale shoulders, shot after shot falling or failing, so happy to play here again that shots missed are as joyful as shots made.

And I turn and there you are; all of you at once. birth venus shell cocoon love

I would like to remember you walking up. Pale blue dress, corduroy gold cap. You’re new to me; all grown up. You’re tall, lovely. Light eyes, expressive lips. Golden. A sudden physical manifestation of a hypothetical person. I’m surprised by your reality, and relieved: you’re beautiful. Beautiful, as we discuss later in the night, is more than attractive—it means inside is as outside.

You are a whole being.

I would like to remember that we hugged lightly and I kissed your wide cheek and I said, “You get lunch, I had a late breakfast” with the tall thin gardener who we’ve both known since we were children. “I’ll keep playing.”

Even in that first flush, space.

And after awhile of sweating and shooting my nervousness out on the sand court, graceful, I love ball—you’re off on the porch not watching but talking with friends, eating—I stop. I walk to the main house and shower in the men’s bathroom, without soap or towel, grinning at the old memories in this vast old house. Twenty jumping jacks in my towel outside in the new sun and I’m dry. I go get a little lunch and a lot of Tibetan Hot Sauce and join you, sitting on the old farmhouse front porch where I’ve spent so many hours, so many years ago.

A tall young man is talking to you, and the tall thin gardener comes by and we all talk, and I eat and make jokes, and compliment the young man, and relax with you. And the young man wants to join us for a swim, and I look down at my food as I eat, waiting to see if you are weak in your politeness. You’re not. But you’re not rude, either, you simply demur. I’m relieved at your strength and surprised by your skillful kindness. I gently make it clear to the young man that you and I would like to see each other one on one, it’s been years.

I would like to remember walking away with you to your little black car. You’ve christened it Pony Boy. I would like to remember our ready repartee, your quick laugh, my constant humor, your sweet voice, your clear enunciation. We meet well. We ping pong back and forth, talking and sharing, learning and listening and interrupting, getting to know.

We drive a little road through farms and fields…and we are not in a rush, and neither are the 10 other Vermont cars in front of us, driving 15 miles an hour behind a slow tractor trailer. It’s rare, not being in a rush: we’re both already where we want to be. I would like to remember the feeling of old sights watering my parched memory—I haven’t seen these curves, views, homes, barns for 14 years. But this being the country, it’s all as if unchanged.

We laugh a lot. We park. I look at a few whiteblond-haired children preparing to swim, and feel the future looming against the present. I take refuge in the present: future is not real. You change in the woods because the old changing rooms are locked, while I stare out at the timeless view of a wide lake with wooded hills framing a sandy beach and, in the foreground, children playing and parents sitting beneath tall lonely Vermont trees.

@waylonlewis instagram harvey's lake vermont swim

It’s all a dream. None of this could really happen, again.

 

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~ Dr. Seuss

 

 

I would like to remember Harvey’s Lake, with you. How we find our halfsunny, halfshady spot below two trees, and you sit up and I lean back and we talk, laugh, and talk more and listen, and talk more and listen, and laugh more and listen, and get to know, asking so many questions. “So how do you like me, so far?” I ask, out of the blue. I’m serious, but relaxed now, and confident. And you laugh at me. We laugh together. I appreciate your eyes, and your lips, and your voice, and your mind.

I take the purple-red plums I’d picked out of my upside-down trucker hat and eat five of them and toss the seeds into the bushes, vaguely hoping they might live on. And you eat one. And again and again I bring myself back from my enthusiasm for this present moment back to this present moment. And it’s hard, because the joy is tart but sweet, I can taste it, but it flowers from the present moment and is rooted here, so I return.

And we go into the water. “I hope nobody notices I’m just wearing my underwear.” I hadn’t noticed, though I was trying not to look. “No one will.” It’s dark and looks like a bikini. But just to be safe, “I’ll distract everyone.” And so I run in, as I am wont to do anyways, knees high so I can run as far into the water as possible, and I splash and run and joyful! And at last I jump and dive and the water is still shallow, and with practiced big broad strokes I swim out, underwater, just about as far as I can, and that’s far.

Finally, I surface…thousands of feet from the beach. But I can still stand: I’m only 100 feet out, and the water is shallow. And we swim and stand and talk about love and loss and relationships and parents and seaweed and real estate and work and broken relationships, forever. The sun warms us and the clouds shiver us and the water holds us. And a fish tickles your legs, three times. The first time you yelp.

At one point you take out a sharp, perceptive knife and smoothly core my heart, “You get ahead of yourself. You think five steps ahead. I’m the opposite. I take forever to decide, I’m careful.” And it’s true, though I don’t understand how you can tell.

Finally we walk back ashore. I swim underwater again, I love plowing through water, my shoulders remembering their forgotten strength. And we sit and talk for another forever, comfortable, laughing and sad. And we talk until finally you seem to want to move, and I ask. And you say you’d like to have ice cream but I’m vegan, and I say I’m fine with other people having fun. And you say you’d still like that date with me that we’d talked about over the past months, writing to one another. And I’m pleasantly surprised one such as you would like one such as me. I am not insecure, but I know myself, and in knowing ourselves we must become fundamentally modest. And you are exquisite, and wise. And I did not take you for a fool. But I am happy to be foolish with you.

Love is foolish, of course, as was last night’s wide orange then white fullish moon, illuminating a dark loud waterfall into glowing gray.

~

I would also like to remember our drive through West Barnet, passing 30 young runners, and our stop at a general store (it carries saké, being close to our big red green old Buddhist home) so you could go to the bathroom. There’s one organic wine, and you offer to buy it, or pay your half. You drive me to my guest house, and you see the tall gardener who’s hosting me, and while you two talk (you garden, too) I run upstairs and change into jeans: I know my old high school town and the locals don’t need to see a boy in short shorts.

And: I would like to remember our drive to the big town of my high school days, where I get us to stop and browse at a store on Railroad Street that I like: the one with Pendleton blankets and French wine and local mead and sleigh bells that sound like water, and old-fashioned nighties, cowboy shirts, moose antlers, red Persian rugs and Norman Rockwellish old prints. I could buy stuff there, and I do not buy stuff.

But soon you shoo us out, because I’m doing an interview in an hour. And I belatedly realize that you want our picnic date to be before my interview. There’s not enough time for that, anymore; I’d assumed after. We drive to a natural grocery set in a former Town Hall or Church, can’t tell, and do our picnic shopping.

I would like to remember how we decide to buy what for our picnic: dates ’cause we’re on our date, and pistachios salted or garlic? Salted, and crackers but no let’s get chips, blue organic chips 8 oz not 6 oz, and hot salsa it won’t really be hot it’s mainstream “hot,” and then Lily chocolate, yes chocolate is vegan if it’s not milk, and olive tapenade, and pesto (love pesto), and kale salad, and stuffed grape leaves in a tin. And I joke with the cashier and we drive off, still talking, listening, our minds or lives braiding our experience.

We’ve braided strands of our pasts into this present: we’ve talked and listened and laughed about our hearts, our parents, the Dharma, friends and their children, our limited memories of one another, my home and dog, her sisters, the tiny house she’s building, and her art and immediate future. We’re just about friends, now.

And—I would like to remember our first date. Sitting by the waterfall, the last sun of the day gold, slightly orange, I sit on my Filson coat, and you sit on your white blue towel and we spread out the dishes and feast. We only have 20 minutes, yet it’s the best date I can ever remember perhaps ever. And I’ve had many good ones full of connection, humor and hope. But this: it’s easy, romantic, just-so, and somehow unrushed.

And we save dessert (the dates, pistachios, chocolate, wine) for our second date, also tonight, after you set up your tent and after I finish my interview.

And somehow I haven’t fucked it all up, yet, I think, as I walk away from you and Pony Boy, and off to the work that is my love and life.

“I was about half in love with her by the time we sat down. That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty… you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.” – J.D. Salinger

And we meet on the porch, I’m late, “Sorry, the interview went long,” but you’d just arrived. So it’s all good. And we walk up the hill to your tent, it’s dark now, and we stumble on a root or rock but mostly we both know our way, having grown up in these hills. We’ve known each other since I was small, and you were smaller. Our parents know each other. And we speak the same language, the same dialect.

It’s not far to your tent. Your big tent, set on a wooden platform, includes a screened-in porch safe from the flies and mosquitoes.

I would like to remember this second date in our date-work-date sandwich, as you called it.

I would like to remember our conversation. For in it I first found your strength, your earthy sanity, your way of articulating thoughts and criticism: as if there’s no rush. You’re so thoughtful, sweet. We drink out of the bottle because we don’t have glasses and I eat many dates, and we eat a little chocolate, and I show you how (don’t chew, just place on tongue, melt and savor) and you endearingly don’t care. And our words or minds and perhaps even our hearts touch, dance, ping ponging: everything’s a joke, then sad. I ask about your perceptive comment that I’m ahead of myself, because I didn’t understand it fully, though it sounds right.

And I can feel myself falling in love with you, but I fight that love.

For my love for you isn’t love, or for you: it’s just enthusiasm. I will give you space, and that is love. And so I return to this moment, where all tensions are solved by not needing resolution, and I simply listen, and laugh, and joke, and share. And yet still I fall in love, knowing it’s not real. We could find out if it’s more than just mutual projection over time. But not tonight.

And we talk about private things. You are brave and strong in your openness. And I am open, but that is one thing that is easy for me.

And I would like to remember that we watched the yellow moon rise behind the black trees. And the occasional flashlights bobbing up the low mountain trails. And finally I ask if I can hold your hand.

And I will remember that you laughed at me for asking. And I would like to remember how I first touched one of your long, beautiful hands. And how your fingers enthusiastically, yet sweetly explored mine. And how my strong, relaxed hand held held yours. You have callouses. And later you laugh when I kiss one of your hands, so in a fake French accent I threaten to curtsy, next—that’s my deal-closer, I say.

And we talk, our hands wandering but only slightly, and finally I do not ask. We kiss. It’s our first kiss, so we take our time.

And I would like to remember our first kiss.

 

“Sometimes when I look deep in your eyes I swear I can see your soul.”

 

And then we kiss much more. I kiss your top lip, a slight bite, your neck. My stubble hurts your face and lips, my hand in your nightdark hair and on your chin and your sharp hips and smooth shoulder. And we talk more. And I interrupt you with a kiss, for it’s nice to interrupt someone when the interruption is welcome. And I lay you down and I lay beside you and over you and we talk, and kiss, more, and I touch your sternum, which is dangerously close to your heart. And you touch and kiss but I do not pay attention to me.

Time passes.

And finally you decide I’ll walk back home, it’s too “dangerous” to stay, and I look forward to the moonlit long walk, though I fear the giddy joy after a first date for it always portends heartbreak.

rhye space love sex intimacy relationship date

And just before we leave your tent you say something like this: you say

“I have to ask you—I may seem impenetrable—but I have to ask you to be careful with my heart.”

And I reply: “Well, two things. One, yes, I will, and I appreciate that you asked. But I do not see you as impenetrable, and yes: please be kind to mine, too.” But I say it in many more words. “And, that’s just the first part,” I say, and you laugh. I’ve been jokey all night, almost too, but it’s alright. “And the second part, I say, is it actually could be good.”

The night is rich, nearly dripping with joy.

And I thank you for this delicious privilege, which is to spend an evening with you in the woods.

And we walk down and hold and kiss. Your eyes are closed in the moonlight, eager lips.

~

And I would like to remember my endless walk home beneath the bright white moon. Arriving at the gardener’s farmhouse, I go upstairs to my attic room, meditate, and I work and fall fast asleep, deep.

 

“The sun loved the moon so much, he died every night to let her breathe.”

 

And none of this may mean a thing, and you may be nervous, and you may want space. But it may mean something, and I am not nervous, and I will give you all the space you need. For love if true love is caring about your heart, not merely my own.

But: I would, too, like to remember the next day, and our talk in the water of the stream, you’d had a long night of worry or stress, you tell me, while I feel only joy and sun, and slept well. And the nervousness. You’ve closed. And my sadness like the rolling fog and your generously sweet, funny story when you see me turning and the fog and trees. And our dinner is short, and we do not return to the tent, or connect, or kiss or touch, much, and I say you’re not responsible for my sadness, I’m a big boy, and I will give you space, but space can be in love. But you do not hear my words. They are merely words. You say “I can’t let you in.” It’s too soon.

I would like to remember the shutting out and final goodbye: “do what you want.”

 

“Ooh, stay open.”

 

And you say you may visit, but I will not ask for it. And we part. And I sing all the way home:

 

“Oh the winter it is past, and the summer’s come at last. And small birds they sing on every tree…and the hearts of these are glad, but mine it is very sad, for my true love is parted from me.

Oh you who are in love, and cannot it remove, I pity the pains you enduuure…for experience lets me know that your heart, it is full of woe, a pain that no mortal can cure…” ~ Rabbie Burns, one of Trungpa Rinpoche‘s favorite songs. I’ve loved and sung it my whole life.

 

 

~

Bonus round, some or all.

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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19 Responses to “Things I would like to Remember about our First Kiss.”

  1. melissa says:

    “The sun loved the moon so much, he died every night to let her breathe.”

    Your beautifully vulnerable descriptions of those painfully sweet, awkward moments of learning about another kinda made me feel more peaceful and hopeful and happy.

    Thanks for sharing the writing.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Aw, thank you. But I must say that, and the other two or three quotes, are the bits I did not write, but shared as cherries on top of what is hopefully a yummy sundae for your reading enjoyment. With best wishes, ~ Way

      • melissa says:

        Yes…I noticed the quotation marks. And those quotes came to life with all of the detail organized so eloquently.

  2. CAL says:

    My wish for you and the lovely woman you write so eloquently about in this triptych is may reality be even sweeter!

  3. elephantjournal says:

    A few FB/twitter comments:

    Aigul: It's very soothing. I'm reading it before bedtime now. Good night!

    Wanda S You can write beautifully!

    Abigail L Such an evocative title! Love it.

    Deborah M oh man…

    B Albucher Sweet. What a wonderful capture.

    Mary J Oh wow

    Rebecca H Beautiful.

    Wanda S Love this romantic story..! Thanks!
    Margaret A Wow, Always, forever!

    JESS: ah, sweet. love his writing.

    Ann K: Raw and beautiful, thank you

    Michael S: Seriously beautiful writing.. just found that achey bruise in my chest.. coincidentally this was on the radio at work http://youtu.be/7YnX3zbk6ss

    Jenny Sansouci @jennysansouci

    @waylonlewis you're in vermont?! me too.

    Summer Rayne Oakes @sroakes

    @waylonlewis beautiful!

    Rachel @starrfish220

    @waylonlewis Read this earlier today. Thank you! The way you capture emotion/longing is devastating and beautifully right on. Striking a chord!! I've read and re-read the others as well. If she's real, I hope she's reading too. Or if the 'you' in question is your call out to the universe, well done.

  4. Michael says:

    Your writing just pushed a finger into the bruisy ache of my heart.. Beautiful but sad beautiful, you know?

  5. Alexa GK says:

    ah yes. nothing quite like the zing of padma affections at karme choling! but the french countryside…dechen choling gets me, e'ry time :) my heart will always be touched by these loves.

  6. Kim says:

    "Even after all this time, the sun never said to the sky – you owe me. See what happens with a love like that? It illuminates the whole world." ~ Rumi

    Excellent writing and feeling, Waylon. Bittersweet truth, and beauty of sadness. Allows us to know the whole spectrum of being true human beings.

  7. fluxustulip says:

    I agree with the poster above " If she's real, I hope she's reading too. Or if the 'you' in question is your call out to the universe, well done."…keep it up! This is the best so far. Very well written, as well as emotionally moving…really real. My heart feels happy/sad. Thanks!

  8. Claudia Kuzniak says:

    This is exactly way I advised my daughters to not rush their journey with a man…they miss all this deliciousness.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    A new one just happened, and was easy to write.

    If you had a spare hour, I would not want to see you: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/08/things-i-w

  10. Mike Smith says:

    Very nice writing Waylon, Brought back so many painful, glorious, joyful, fearful memories from Karme Choling. The good old days I guess we call them now. I would like to remember chanting the Heart Sutra to beat of the drum every morning in the main shrine room (if one made it up in time). I would like to remember Harvey's Lake. The basic sanity, goodness of that space.

    Although I never knew her well I would like to remember a swim at Harvey's lake with her too. Somehow a piece of seaweed wrapped around her head. I told her it made her look like a queen with her crown. She liked that. I remember having lunch with you and her and playing a game of moving the salt shaker when the other was not looking. So playful. Easy to like to remember.

  11. Jacinta says:

    Great memories! Real or not, the imagination goes there & the brain knows no difference :)

    On a side note lolz… one of the pictures “Makem & Clancy” brings back a real memory of Liam Clancy, passed out cold on my brothers bed (guest bed), after a night of singing, laughing, & drinking, when Makem & Clancy came to Canada. Me, my brother & sisters were so young, & life was very different. But there was a lot iof joy, & I cherish the times of laughter, song & story with family & friends…. :) miss my parents dearly but feel the song in my heart… <3

  12. Jennifer says:

    Pay attention men, if you write stuff like this, you'll be getting banged like nobody's business. It's truth. Women are sap suckers for anything romantic, cheesy and over the top. This is a one way ticket to fast tracking some good bedroom action!

  13. Jenna B. Wiser says:

    Beautiful!! Can’t wait to experience my first kiss with my soulmate!! One thing I know for sure is it will never stop. My lover needs/requires his time be respected by flortd. others. Everyone wants of him all the fries king time and it pisses me off. I want them to leave you alone. I love my beloved and its my job to protect him not only from himself, but everyone else who may remotely try to take advantage of the generose

  14. Katie says:

    Thanks for your response Minerva. That's a really interesting campaign that I hadn't heard of. Thanks for sharing. Katie x

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