"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Year of Kissing

I think it only fitting to start out 2010 with a post about kissing—almost, unconsummated kissing, because maybe 2010 begins the decade of possibilities, an era of blue, concern for the earth, and sustainable living, and much, much consummated kissing!

With that in mind, I'm participating in Frankie's No Kiss Blogfest in which writers are encouraged to share an "almost kissing" scene they've written. Check out Frankie's blog where everyone participating is linked and read some steamy, spine-tingling encounters.

Without further ado I add my entry to the fest. I couldn't choose, so I post two, one from a WIP and one from a short story.

#1

He opened a bottle of beer and threw his arm across the back of the seat, breathing in the scent of her shampoo and studying her neckline and the wisps of hair that curled around her ear. Her captivating nipples pointed their way out of her blouse, and as the city lights disappeared behind them, he dropped his arm around her shoulders and she relaxed against his side. The conversation kept flowing out of the front seat, and he added an occasional comment just to let his buddies know he was still there.

When they hit the gravel she jostled against him, and there it was—an opportunity. He dropped his mouth to hers in motion with the road, but they hit a pothole and his mouth only met the soft indentation below her bottom lip. And he might have taken her by surprise, but that was nothing compared to what her reaction did to him.

She jerked away and her hand flew to her mouth as if she’d just gotten a mouthful of rotgut whiskey she couldn’t swallow.

Well, Jesus Christ. Talk about a blow to his ego. He pulled his arm in and stared at her. Swallow baby. It’s OK. Swallow it down.

“Where do we drop you?” His buddy was looking at him in the rearview mirror.

“Ah, just pull in my driveway. You can turn around. We’ll take it from there.” He looked at her. “I’ll walk you home, okay?”

They watched the taillights out of sight and started walking. There were night insects singing from both ditches and an owl called from a distant tree. Her place was dark. No lights. He halted, suddenly not wanting to go any closer. The house has eyes. He put his hands in his pockets waiting for her to say something.

“Your friends are nice.”

“Yeah.”

“I better go in before he gets home.”

“Is he really such a mean sonofabitch, or is it just for show?”

“He says you gringos are soft and naïve.”

“Why? Because we don’t carry knives up our sleeves?”

They stood there a minute, and he waited for her to say something else. Should he make a lame joke? He guessed a kiss goodnight was out of the question.

She stepped away. “Thanks for tonight. I had fun. I’d do it again, anytime.”

Really? He was considering a smartass reply but she was gone, disappearing into the shadows around the house. He waited until he saw a light come on in the back; then he walked home, remembering that little indentation.

#2

He was brown-skinned and lean. We baled hay together and I rode on the tractor with him. He wore T-shirts with the sleeves ripped out, but I was too young to appreciate his muscled forearms and the way his jeans fit his thighs. But I do now. I was too naïve to realize he wanted to kiss me. But I do now.

“Walk me home,” he said.

I walked him up the dark gravel road, and at the crest of the hill I stopped, reluctant to go further, and he joked about hearing the heavy fall of my footsteps when I left him, and now I know he was only nervous but I was afraid and when he leaned over to kiss me I pulled away and there was only the faintest feel of his breath against my lips.

Would his mouth have tasted like the black walnuts he kept in his pocket? Like the beef jerky he favored and the cigarettes he smoked? I’ll never know. Was the moon out? Was it blue? I didn’t notice. Were the stars brilliant above us? I don’t remember. But I know now that the stars are not just overhead, they are everywhere around us and underneath us. And at times the moon really does turn blue.

19 comments:

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

love.


them both.

Simon C. Larter said...

Taking my cues from Amber, I'll just say:

want.


to read more.

(Well done!)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Dang, you're good! Both stories are so full of detail that drags in the reader.
Love how the pothole jostles them, how the opportunity is botched and the danger beneath the surface of her life. But even at that his thoughts linger on the almost kiss.
Oh and the memory of the one that got away with his walnuts, jerky and cigarettes she can only savor in thought.
Like the others say, I want more!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

First of all your blog is really pretty, I love that your The Organic Writer, I'm following you now and I loved both of your pieces, WOW! Ok so that was more than just the first thin.

Anyway well done! And thank you for participating and making this fest a success and so much fun.

Also I think you are officially the first person to make my name into a tag...I totally squeeed when I saw that.

Thanks again!
:-)

Donna Gambale said...

Talk about tension on walks home! I've had a couple of those moments.

Yvonne said...

Amber,

Thank you so much. This No Kiss has been fun and I'm pleased to have made your acquaintance.

I noticed you listed THE GIVER as a favorite book so I immediately felt a kinship having just conducted an indepth discussion here on that very book.


Simon,
I'm blushing. Thank you.


Tricia,
I'm so glad you liked them. Your comments always make me smile.


Frankie,
THANK YOU! This was great and I've met a lot of cool literary folks because of you. So, hey, tagging you was the least I could do. Thanks for following.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Ahh, I do adore The Giver. I shall be scrolling through your backlogs to find that post.

I am dropping back by to tell you that I did read Tartt's THE SECRET HISTORY earlier this year (opps, last year!) and she is now on my favorite author list.

I am about 150 pages in with THE LITTLE FRIEND and I am devouring it -- the language is beautiful. Read it!!

Yvonne said...

Amber,
Thanks and I'll put that book on my to-read list.

Donna,
Thanks for reading! I haven't gotten through all the entries yet and I'm off to find yours.

Hayley said...

Nice job, I just got to your post and I really liked the scenes you chose, they were great.

Yvonne said...

Hayley,

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Much appreciated!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I came over from Tricia's Talespinning. Holy cow - those excerpts were both wonderful.

I loved, "Would his mouth have tasted like the black walnuts he kept in his pocket? Like the beef jerky he favored and the cigarettes he smoked? I’ll never know."

I look forward to enjoying many more posts! :-)

Yvonne said...

Shannon,

Anyone who comes from Tricia's is a pretty discerning reader in my book.

Thank you so much.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I really liked your scenes! In the first one, I wanted to know so much more about the background between the two characters! Well played :-)

C.M. Jackson said...

y--hugs and kisses;-)

http://states-of-mine.blogspot.com/2010/01/tag.html

c

Yvonne said...

Sara,

The first one is from my novel in progress so it's nice to know the characters spark interest as I'm 110,000 words into them and looking for a way to say goodbye.

Thanks for reading, I'm glad you liked it.

C-
XXXOOO back at you. I'm looking forward to reading more from you in 2010!

catwoods said...

Very nice. As a writer of mostly middle grade and tween stuff, I can honestly say that the almost kiss is sometimes far more powerful than the real deal.

Great job taking us right there with your characters.

Yvonne said...

Cat,

Yes, that can certainly be the case.

Thanks so much!

Nishant said...

Both stories are so full of detail that drags in the reader.

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