Wednesday, 7 April 2010

UGLY BETTY - A Million First Kisses

It was the episode "All the World's a Stage" of season 4 of "Ugly Betty" to trigger in me Proustian souvenirs. The young Justin, Betty's nephew who's developed very much throughout the series, especially in his nose, finally revealed himself. The process of coming out, awaited by his mother, relatives, friends and public, has taken a couple of steps forward.

After a performance from the students of what it is supposed to be one of the best acting schools in NYC (that made me look back at my sister's nun-run school shows as masterpieces) Justin confronts his friend Austin. For audiences at home the attraction between the two is obvious but the teenagers involved need a few more steps before staging a mock fight which leads them to bumping and touching until falling into kissing.

And that's when I heard "bam"! I feel warm goose bumps rise from behind my head and climb up to the top. The first kiss ... or the first kisses.

My first-first kiss happened on the run, when I was 12, because you were supposed to take care of that business as soon as you could. Friends would expect a full report on actions, movements and feelings. It was more about what you would say to your gang than the actual kiss, the case being that my first kiss took place behind a massive garbage bin in a dark alley with a girl of infamous reputation. Questions I was asked afterwards: "how many seconds did it last?", "French kiss?" "Did you get to second base?" and so on. Imagination helped where experience was lacking. 

My second-first kiss arrived much later, under the spotlight of a nightclub in the middle of the dance floor, visible to all classmates who were certainly more aware than me about many aspects of my personality. The sensations, far more intense than those experienced years before, remain confused because of the rivers of alcohol that were flowing in my veins at the time. Questions I was asked afterwards: "in front of everyone?", "so.. basically, so far you've been lying to yourself?", "And when are you gonna tell your parents?" and so on. Disappearing for a while helped calm the rumours.

So we can't say that my first kisses were as memorable as Justin's on an emotional level but somewhere in my head I can still taste the flavour of other first kisses that were sought asfter and desired in every part of me and that have changed my life in those brief but intense moments. When touching was enough to make me dizzy, when 0.15 second look could revolutionize my day or when love was the only concern of my life.

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