This week I provided details of my first kiss to a newspaper. In the interests of full disclosure, and in the hope that it may provide an opportunity for others to unburden themselves of a similar trauma, I'm reprinting my confession below. I'd like to say that I've got better at the whole kissing thing since this happened. I'd like to say it, but I'm not sure that it would be true . . .
My first kiss took place during a schools disco at the Olympic Ballroom in Dublin. It's usual in these cases to add "which, unfortunately, is no more", but as the whole first kiss experience was so awful, I'm actually rather pleased that the Olympic Ballroom is no longer standing. If someone hadn't knocked it down then I'd have been forced to find a way to do it myself, if only so I wouldn't have to look at it and be reminded all over again of the whole affair.
It wasn't the fault of the girl in question, I hasten to add. She was, as I recall, perfectly accommodating. In fact, she was more than that: she was positively keen. As I circled the dancefloor looking for a likely candidate, she said "Hello". I went around a second time, and she said "Hello" again. After a third circuit I gave up and thought, okay, you'll have to do. I was no looker, I hasten to add, but arrogance and ignorance are a powerful combination, especially when you add rampant hormones to the mix.
After about thirty seconds of Move Closer by Phyllis Nelson - and, God, I hate that bloody song, along with Hello by Lionel Ritchie, which was the next song - I made my move and simply attached myself to her, like a limpet. I'm not even sure that she had time to draw breath. Frankly, she could have died under there and I wouldn't have noticed. I was like a ferret down a rabbit hole. At last, I thought, after years of drought, there is water to drink. Or maybe it was drool. Kissing is kind of hard the first time, and a bit messy.
Eventually, presumably when she realised that she was in imminent danger of blacking out, she detached herself, gasping, and said, "Don't you even want to know my name?"
Crikey, where were my manners?
"Uh, okay," I said. "What is it?"
And she told me. I can still remember it, to my shame. When the slow set ended, we parted, and I never saw her again. Anyway, Pamela, if you're reading this, I'm terribly sorry. Kind of grateful, but terribly, terribly sorry.
This week John read
To War With The Black Watch by Gian Gaspare Napolitano, translated by Ian Campbell Ross
Inside the Tardis by James Chapman
and listened to
Kurr by Amina
Prince and David Sylvian live