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by Mike McGonegal

Her tongue was like a sword... or like a whip in my mouth, whacking the insteps of my upper and lower teeth. Not knowing what else to do, I responded the same way, and our stiff tongues whacked around, rapidly exploring each other’s mouths. It was my first time making out, so I just figured that this is the way it’s done, slanted heads, gaping lips, competing to see who can slash faster while sitting on a rock by the softball field. Her name was Rosemary. I swear to God that her name was Rosemary. It was summertime.

She’d made out with my brother Kenny the night before, and I knew that it was Kenny’s first time too. So as we did this weird thing, I was thinking about my brother and how I might not be doing the right thing. I was feeling disappointed about the whole “kissing thing” as I had always imagined a little more lip movement, or at least some sort of... well something besides this.

I was thinking that it’s kind of cool that we are right near first base on the softball field as I hit first base for the first time. Our lips were air-tight locked and I was only able to breathe through my nose. After a while I had to stop for air.

“What?” She seemed upset that I stopped.

I didn’t want to kiss her ever again, but I knew that I would have to at some point. My views of the world and of girls were changing every second. I wished that everything could freeze. I wished, in that split second, that I could have more time to decide what to do; what to say. You are supposed to kiss her, I thought. This is NEXT. This horrible tongue thing is what people do, so you had damn well better get used to it. I took a deep breath.

“Cat’s got your tongue?” She wanted back in, and I was cornered.

We made out for what seemed like forever, but was probably three minutes.

Every summer I walk by the softball field and I stop for a minute and I sit on that rock. I think about Rosemary, and I think about how kissing has come a long way. Then I think about my brother Kenny and I hope that he can forgive me some day. I tally the years since we’ve last spoken. And I curse the name Rosemary as I shut my eyes tighter than shut and I put my head down. Then, I usually shuffle away from the ball field in the glow and the breeze of a hurtful, stabbing summer’s day.

Copyright © 2012 by Mike McGonegal

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