Stolen Kisses

by Harry T. Roman


Those sultry Newark summer nights were just made for first kisses and puppy love.

When was it that you first "went out" with someone, maybe the 8th grade or early high school? Can you remember his or her name? Sure you can; and probably all the awkward moments that went along with it. We all started learning about relationships and how to act......or maybe not act.

That first kiss could have been a front porch kiss, or maybe one under a nice big shady tree as dusk was just about turning into night. Perhaps there was the scent of honeysuckle or jasmine in the warm air to give that night an extra special meaning.

Maybe it happened at the local candy store soda fountain, or maybe in a booth?

You could have stolen that first kiss under the artificial moon of an old fashioned Newark streetlight-right out there for everyone to see. Were you that brave?

Or maybe you planted a smooch on your girl at a dance in your school gym, or after a CYO social on a Friday night. Could have been at a friend's house party or a Holiday season get-together. Might even have been a "spin the bottle" session too--that's where mine happened.

I remember mine. It was Christmas time at my friend’s house, over on 4th Street, playing spin the bottle. We almost wore a bare spot in the living room rug with that old Coke bottle. It was smokin’ when we were through! Still think about that first kiss, trembling lips, and pounding heart.

Sometimes it happened in the back row or balcony of a movie theater. Could have been something that just sort of happened while walking someone home.

Ever steal a kiss at your girl’s high school book locker?

Maybe you did it on a dare......but you did it and so did most of us...and we survived to want to do it again.

Once you did it, you didn't feel weird about it anymore. You just wanted to pucker up and give it another try. That's the signal. When you would rather smooch than play ball or hang around with the guys, you started growing up.

Did you have a favorite girl’s perfume? That always made the kisses seem better. Me, I liked the smell of Cotillion. It always got my attention.

Ever get caught kissing by either your parents or maybe your partner's parents? So what colors did you turn?

I dated a girl in high school who's mother periodically yelled from the kitchen to us in the living room, "Let's hear some whistling and hand clapping in there!"

Rides in your old jalopy with your best girl squeezed up close….remember those? Who needed seat belts when all you did was cruise Bloomfield Avenue and steal kisses all night.

Ever go to a favorite diner and seat together on the same side, kissing between bites and slurps of a soda or malted. The waitress probably just rolled her eyes, or if she was young enough, sat there remembering doing the same thing.

Ever have an ice-cream kiss-where both of you get to taste the other’s flavor?

What did you prefer---plain lip kisses or lipstick kisses?

And then there were prom kisses, a whole special class of kiss, for the experienced and erudite practitioner of “smoochery”.

Kids don’t seem to date with intensity any more. They go places in a sort of mob or group-seeming reluctant to pair off. Maybe it’s a rebellion against commitment, or some such thing.

Saturday night for us was the night of nights. If you did not have a date or a best girl, you were lower than “you know what” in the deep blue sea.

I noticed the young kids dance weird too. Looks almost like a tribal ritual, with arms and legs flying around. Can’t tell if anyone even has a partner. I remember living for the slow dances with the check-to-check stuff, and maybe both arms around your partner. Where did that stuff go?

Give me that old 3 and 4-chord progression rock and roll guitar music anytime. It takes me back to innocent days. I remember it like it was yesterday… first kiss….Judy was her name …, Lena….. no, it was definitely Linda….wait……it could have been Diane…….oh heck, it was somebody!


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