I knew I was attracted to this boy because I tutored him 3 or more times a week. He was always kind to me but that defensive shield I had built around my existence to protect me never allowed me to realize he actually treated me like a girl. He opened doors for me if we were entering the Library Study Area in High School. If I would let him he would pull out my chair for me. None of this and other things flew right by me. I missed the meaning when he told me "you have beautiful eyes" because I thought he was going to hurt me when he caught me staring at him. I should have known he would not hurt me because I stared at him every chance I got. He had to know in retrospect.
At that time I was the freakish kid from the other side of town that was at this particular High School because he was supposedly very smart and this was where the advanced classes were. He actually tried to walk with me in a corridor when switching classes multiple times but I was blind to that. Fear makes you blind to a lot of life and believe me I was scared early in my Sophomore year in High School. Actually terrified might be more accurate. I thought is was because they considered me gay or more aptly a "fag" or "queer" or "faggot" which were words I heard a lot.
I was a pretty boy but in reality there were other boys that were pretty in a feminine way but they never faced the wrath of their fellow males like me, or at least I don't believe they did. In May of 1959 I took an absolutely insane risk. Well, I thought it was a big risk but in my mind if people saw me as the girl I was I just knew they would "let me be a girl". I bet I told my poor mother once a day that, "I am a girl. Why can't you just let me be a girl? I am not hurting anyone. I am a girl.", which was the reason I spent a lot of free time in psychoanalysis with every noted Psychiatrist in the greater Boston area.
I was asked to do something and did it. Actually I was threatened if I did not do it with more bodily harm and when that boy tried to defend me I agreed to do it. It was stupid and very dangerous for my safety but I clearly remember thinking it was a possible win-win for me. It was a win if they saw the real me as a girl and a win if they still hated me and killed me because I had been trying to off myself because I deeply feared looking like either of my brothers. Hairy, muscled, tall, and brawny was not my plan for life. I wanted the soft, curvy, and sexy future. I never considered the difference a kiss would make because why would anyone kiss a freak like me? Only in my dreams.
When the day came one of the boys said to me when he first saw me, "Jesus fucking Christ he is beautiful", and my thought was if only there was an "s" in front of "he" this would be perfect. The whole concept was to hurt someone else but it all went insanely wrong or wonderfully right depending on your point of view. I went for a sexy look and at the end of the initial part there was to be a fake kiss between each boy/girl partnership.
I remember the stares I got from the other couples when we arrived. Self confidence was not my strong suit despite a boy that mercilessly beat me telling me I was beautiful. The boy had to inform me they were staring because they knew we would win. I never thought winning anything was part of the plan but then I was lost in my own little world because boys that hurt me looked at me differently. They actually seemed to like what they saw.
I was clinging to that boy like Velcro which was just being commercially introduced. It was really the first time I had touched a boy and he was strong and to my surprise he smelled so wonderful. The thing was nobody told me there was to be a fake kiss until I was there. I was to throw my 115 pounds into his arms like the defenseless girl I portrayed and he would be my pseudo protector. Worked for me cause he held me like I was a feather. On the way in he had mentioned "I smelled really nice" which was odd because I would never dare to wear perfume. I would be grounded for life if that came out at home. I had fought hard just to push androgyny in my daily life. I received a lot of push back but I realized if you take it too far and then back off a little adults thought they were winning and I got away with more. Well, that was my belief at the time.
When the moment came for us I jumped into his arms like I was instructed to. I clearly remember how amazing it felt to be held by him and by then I knew there was a fake kiss and when I faked my kiss that boy did not fake his kiss. If I could put it to music it would be the song Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band and the lyrics "Sky rockets in flight. Afternoon delight.
I am sure it has happened to everyone but I lost myself in that kiss because it was something I had dreamed about and prayed for every night of my childhood. Maybe god had finally answered all those forlorn prayers I whispered every night so my younger brother would not hear them. Suddenly my dream's Knight in Shining Armor was kissing me and surely he would be taking me away to the perfect future as his girl. As his tongue fervently forced its way into my mouth instinctively I responded with a passion I never realized I had until the hooting and hollering brought me to my senses. I remember he tasted so good and tried to put that out of my mind. I did not really understand boy-girl dynamics because I was so isolated from everyone but I knew that kiss meant something and it scared the living daylights out of me. I got out of his arms and ran for the car we arrived in and thankfully it was unlocked. When he finally caught up to me in the back seat of the car I was screaming "you have killed me" which contradicted my original plan because dying was part of the win-win scenario.
I then was so upset and mad I blurted everything out onto this beautiful boy. I told him how I felt and that I was "really" a girl and as the friends online that I talk regularly with on the telephone or Skype will attest to when I get going it is not easy to shut me up. I told him I needed to be a "real" girl and everything I could think of. He sat there in stunned silence and never said a word as I vented my life to him. I am not sure why I did it but I told him everything. I am not sure how long I blathered on but he finally got me to shut up and tried to get me to stop crying and then he told me things that had never dawned on me. He started by telling me something prophetic.
"You were never a boy so you don't get it. We think about two things. Sports and girls and believe me sports is a distant second. You waltz into school and look like some maverick girl that does not give a crap about the silly dress code which make you dangerous. Dangerous girls excite boys. Everyone wants to know who the new girl is and then it comes out you are not a girl but you really are a girl I guess. This is all so confusing."
He told me other things about why they beat me up because boys are scared when they realize they are attracted to another boy which was baffling because I avoided boys like they carried the plague. I told that boy all my best kept secrets that only my mom and older brother knew about and again I have no idea why I did. Maybe because he made me feel safe. That moment in the car after the kiss changed my life.
It turns out boys keep secrets worse than girls do because by Monday everyone knew I thought I was a girl or wanted to be a girl and their was a different vibe in the school corridors. I was basically "out" in my High School as the boy that thinks he is a girl which despite some minor setbacks bettered my life dramatically.
It is weird how a single kiss can change a life but it did. He became my boyfriend and one of the loves of my life. His parents and my mother would be the key to saving my life. Funny thing is I thought not one single person other than us new initially he was my boyfriend. We went on a family vacation to Europe that changed my mom's view of me dramatically because of events there but I never knew they had all known about us because the boy told his parents how confused he was by me and his mother was a friend of my mom from their youth and she called my mom but even she knew something was different. I was smiling more it seemed. and if I had paid attention it would have dawned on me she stopped asking if I had a girlfriend and it changed to "do you have a boyfriend" but I was in my own little world even then.
It is funny when I look back on that first kiss. He thrilled me. It sent shivers of joy through my body. It made me feel sexy. It made me realize how wonderful a boy feels and tastes yet the most important thing escaped me then. It began the process of saving my life because there were few kids more self destructive and bent on self destruction than I was.
I have had other memorable first kisses. That first kiss from the first lover I had after surgery was wonderful. The first kiss by my second husband and the third true love of my live was wonderful but not one of them came close to that kiss on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in early June 1959. My salvation came from the kiss a boy gave freely because he realized I was really a girl despite the obvious flaw.
In retrospect it was the sweetest kiss ever. Well it certainly was for me anyways.
No kiss was ever sweeter than wine than mine. The original Pete Seeger and the Weavers version is my favorite.
For all of you I do truly hope your first kiss was "sweeter than wine" because mine was.