Saturday, July 22, 2006

White Out, Black Out, Kiss Kiss...

This is a photo of a black dot on a white sheet of paper. If you look closely, you'll see the dot nearer the upper left hand corner, more high than wide, and looking like a fly on a white TV picture or a peep hole into the darkness from the lighter side.

Once you see it, everytime you look at this picture you will see it. Not only that, but you will gravitate toward it and keep seeing it regardless of the fact that most of this picture isn't IT.

It is something else completely.

War is much like this picture. War is a black dot in the light. War draws us in and holds our attention and hijacks our focus and pierces the lightness of life with a small dark hole.

Pretty soon we forget that this is a picture of light and we maintain-- and concern ourselves with the fact-- that this is a picture of a black dot.

That's all I wanted to say about war today. War has taken up enough of your time, already.

What I wanted to tell you about was the light you miss when you focus on the dot.

What I wanted to tell you about, was everthing else.

The first time I was kissed by a girl it was a gang affair. I was only seven, in the second grade, and not yet ready for a kiss from a girl. But a girl tried to kiss me and I objected. Her friend tried to help and I moved back. Their friends tried to help and left me with no choice but to run. School rules about leaving school grounds left me no choice, but to run around in circles.

Now had this started toward the end of lunch, I would have survived the day unsmooched. But it had started as a conversation at the beginning of lunch over the top of MickeyMouse and Wonder Woman lunch boxes (with matching thermos), and led directly to the playground.

"Lisa loves you!"

"Shut up."

"Lisa is in love with yoooouuu..."

"Shut up."

Like that.

For twenty minutes easy I ran from the pursed lips of tiny girls in cute little dresses and pig tails and braids. I ran into the sawdust box where the jungle gyms were. I ran around the baseball backstop. I ran through hopscotch games and four square games, and I was cut off from running into the boys' bathroom several times by vanguards of squeal. Almost every girl in the second grade and a few in the third grade had decided it was my time for my first kiss.

The only person not convinced, it seems, was me.

Ever get so tired you no longer have full control over your limbs? The legs wobble, the arms just flap, balance is gone, there is not even enough air in the universe to fill your lungs on fire?

Falling down suddenly seems like the humane thing to do for yourself.

I fell down in a crowd of squealing seven and eight year old girls, closed my eyes, and waited for the worst.

I don't actually know who was the first girl to kiss me. It would be like asking an Alfred Hitchcock victim in "The Birds" which bird pecked you first?

The only thing I am really grateful for, is that none of these girls had been taught the art of welling up a good hicky.

I thank their good upbringing for that.

(Can you imagine what twenty-five panting and squealing girls could DO to a small boy held down by fifty knobby knees pursing their vampire lips all the while trying to suck blood up to the surface of my tawny kids' skin? )

Actually, I am also grateful, come to think of it, for the fact that I too, was not aware of the art of welling up a good hicky.

I would have been scared to death.


Nuri said...

However, if you ask anyone in a conflict area, they will see a black paper with a tiny tiny white dot. Enough of our time? Are you saying all we can do is just shout "what a disaster" before we go back to our routine...?

Scott from Oregon said...

Howerver, 99% of the world IS NOT in a conflict area.

I am saying that life's riches get forgotten when a war is occuring. Such is the evil of war.

Annnna said...

Hahhaha... shhh... the conspiracy must be kept a secret.

Nuri said...

99%??? I like your sense of humour.... :-)
Carpe Diem?

loveyouintheface said...

what's the matter with a little optimism, huh?
i dig this... and the kissing story. i myself was a youngster with various adorable hairstyles who insisted that kissing boys must be accomplished by force and in a group. i'm not sure that kinda thing would go over as well now though...

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