Untotaled: Stepping 46 (February 14th, 1969) The Pain in Pleasure… December 20, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2449)

(Transcript)

Her name was Belinda.

She was about two rungs down the ladder of popularity from me, promoted by the horrendous high school caste system.

She liked me a lot.

I liked her, but of course, I would never go against the feudal structure of High School U. S. A., to ask her out on a date. I would never survive the ridicule and humiliation.

But I got lonely around Valentine’s Day.

My dad was sick and dying. One of the guys in our music group quit because his girlfriend thought he was taking too much time with us, and I had no idea whatsoever on what geometry was all about.

So I quietly asked Belinda out on a date, hoping that because she was so devoted in my direction, there might be some necking involved. She was one of those farm girls, raised on Bible principles, but was willing to renegotiate some of the terms on a Saturday night.

I wanted to neck.

I had kissed girls, but had never sustained long sessions of smooching and my curiosity had overtaken me. So I selfishly decided to take advantage of poor Belinda.

She was thrilled and promised not to tell anybody about our date because I told her we “needed to see how it worked out.”

I took her to a drive-in movie, which in 1969 was code for “we’re gonna mess around.”

It took me nearly thirty minutes to work up the courage to put my arm around her, and then I was afraid to move it and therefore contracted some horrible cramps in my muscles, which continued through the entire evening.

It was easy to get her to start kissing. She had thin lips so the first couple of times I got mostly teeth. But after a minute or so we got the hang of it, and she started slipping her tongue in my mouth, which was relatively new to me.

Adapting the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” I concluded, “When in France do as the French do.”

We were about ten minutes into the session when I realized that one of us had really stale breath. It wasn’t really horrible–that dried smell of garlic baloney and over-chewed gum.

I persisted.

She really got into it–so much so that she unbuttoned her blouse, inviting me to see how “alive the hills really were.”

I thought about it. After all, I was a teenager. Morals were something to discuss at church and feverishly avoid in your everyday life.

But something stopped me.

Maybe it was the ache in my bicep. Or it could have been the halitosis.

But I backed out of the encounter, tongue first.

I took her home. She wondered what was wrong. She practically pleaded with me to see her again. And rat that I was, I went mousy and never spoke to her.

It was an odd night.

Rather than feeling fulfilled, I felt like I had used another human being, who would suffer some pangs from the experience.

It sucked.

I did learn, though, that there is some pain in pleasure.

The reason most people never pursue their goals is because along the way, there are some shards of glass strewn in the pathway which either need to be avoided or walked over.

If life was easy, dumb people would rule the world.

Well, maybe they do.

But life isn’t easy. With every pain comes some pleasure, and the pleasures that arrive our way do require that we survive a bit of discomfort.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 40 (May 19th, 1967) Last Day of School ’67… November 15, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2414)

(Transcript)

How does one describe the last day of school?

I suppose I could use the word “rapture” if it weren’t so entwined with the religious phenomenon.

I could use “orgasm” if it wasn’t so linked with what would be misconstrued by prudes.

So I guess the best word would be “carnivale.” Not that I’ve ever been to one–I’m just assuming the wild, abandoned glee over not having any more pressing responsibilities pushing in on you, realizing that there are a full eighty-eight days of summer ahead.

I never liked to be the first one to leave the school on the last day.

I liked to hang around for a few moments to walk the empty halls, with little clumps of dust still tumbling along, and discarded papers left to the discretion of the overworked janitor.

So by the time I headed home, everyone was pretty well gone, and it wasn’t until I got to my front door that I remembered I had forgotten to pick up an English book which my mother had insisted I bring home, because she had paid eleven and ninety-nine to purchase it because I had misplaced the provided copy.

So I had to weigh my options. My mom’s anger, or returning to the school I had just gloriously abandoned.

I walked back.

The door was still open and as I entered, there was an eerie sensation which crept down my spine at being in this empty edifice of learning, now so silent that you could hear the creaking hinges on the door.

I made my way down the hallway to Mr. Marshall’s English class, which also, miraculously, was still unlocked.

I crept through the door and walked to the storeroom where I knew he kept the books. I gently turned the knob, crossing the fingers of my other hand, hoping that it, too would be accessible. It was.

So I flung the door open in glee, only to discover that in the shadowy confines, not yet lit up by the overhead bulb, was Mr. Marshall, shirt unbuttoned, kissing Miss Crowley, the biology teacher, who had her top off, showing her “booba-toobas.”

(I developed the name “booba-toobas” in an attempt to be unique and humorous, and even though it was silly, I persisted in the terminology since a cheerleader once giggled upon hearing it.)

Honestly, in my entire life’s journey, I have never seen three people so frozen in time. Mr. Marshall, Miss Crowley, and dumb me, peering at one another.

No one knew what to do.

Finally, Miss Crowley grabbed her blouse to cover up her left “tooba” and said, “Jonathan, what are you doing here?”

I gasped, “I came to get my book.”

“You want a book?” she inquired.

Apparently my quest for knowledge was more surprising to her than being found in a closet with her paramour.

Mr. Marshall disconnected himself from the human apparatus, put his arm around me and walked from the room out into the hallway. He stood there looking at me for a long time. I wanted to say something but everything that popped to my mind seemed dangerous.

At length he sighed and said, “Well, Jonathan, we have a situation here.”

I nodded.

“Tell you what I’m going to do,” he continued. “I’m going to treat you like an adult. I’m gonna believe that you’re going to walk out of here with your book and never say another word about what you saw.”

Leaning in close to my face, he punctuated, “Because if you did, Miss Crowley and I would probably get in a helluva lot of trouble.”

I knew he meant what he said because no teacher would ever use the word “hell” in front of me unless he felt I was worthy to join him at the local bar for a drink.

All I said to him was, “I won’t.”

With this, I took flight out the door, running as fast as my fat legs would carry me.

I know he must have thought he was sunk, but on the way home I felt so grown-up.

I was trusted.

For the first time in my life, I was to be taken at my word without the threat of punishment.

And you know what?

I never did tell.

Even a month later, when my friends came over to sleep at the house and we watched “Chiller Theater” and everybody was getting real honest, I bit my lip and the side of my cheek, and stuffed a lot of pizza into my mouth to keep from blabbing.

When I returned to school that fall, Miss Crowley was gone and I heard she had gotten married over the summer–but not to Mr. Marshall.

The grown-up world is very confusing.

I never told anyone until this day, even though I have used memories of Miss Crowley’s “booba-toobas” to stimulate a few sessions in youthful lust.

 

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Hunt for the Peck … August 2, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1962)

kisspeckI was sitting here trying to figure out whether it would be characterized as a disease, a fungus, a bacteria, a condition or a rash. I do know that it lasts about six months and seems to have no cure.

“It” is this handsy, saccharine preoccupation that a man and a woman have with each other when they first discover that they are romantically intrigued. For them, it is akin to reaching the peak of Mt. Everest, and for others it is an insufferable tumble from Humpty Dumpty’s wall.

The two individuals appear to be physically connected by a gooey glue, which prevents them from being apart from one another without exchanging an insipidly-placed and performed kiss. One of them could be going across the room to retrieve the gravy bowl, but it would require a moment–meaningless as it is–of connecting their lips to communicate their affection and intention to return.

I have seen it with all of my sons, when in first combat with their lovers. (I use the word “combat” because it feels more as if they are entangled in a hand-to-=hand struggle than in the expression of deep and lasting emotion.)

On top of this particular proliferation of public display of affection is a self-righteousness–“we are the only two people who have ever been in love.” To them, Romeo and Juliet were just bunk mates.

The only thing a mere mortal can do in an attempt to avoid the gagging reflex is look away.

But I think what bothers me the most about this span of illness is that the kissing done is not really kissing, but instead, this insidious peck on the lips, which is not really satisfying nor is it any smooching worthy of discussion.

Kissing demands that the lips be intricately involved, lingering and intertwined. Actually, pecking seems to be a really good name for it–it resembles two chickens attempting to remove grain from each other’s beaks. There doesn’t seem to be pleasure in it. It is symbolic, leaving both parties either yearning for more or wondering if the other person “got his teeth bumped, too.”

I think romance would have a better chance in our species if it was more honest from the onset instead of insisting that it is a red-hot meteor, which falls into a frigid cave, insisting that it plans to melt the surroundings.

Yet I am fully aware that I am speaking to the wind. There is no chance that any kind of maturity can be registered during the onslaught of this infestation. But still, there is beauty after the passage of time has allowed for recuperation, in using kissing for its real purpose, which is deep pleasure and great passion, instead of grazing the lips against another’s face, to make sure they know you wish you could do more.

So in my ongoing search–hunting for the purpose of the peck–I must say that mature love is best expressed by a twinkling eye, a squeezed hand, or fingers gently running across the back, than it is by the often-dangerous drive-by peck.

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Kissing … January 19, 2013

(1,765)

kissing lipsWhat’s the hurry?

After all, one of life’s greatest joys is finding oneself in a moment of pleasure and lingering there as long as possible instead of racing on to the next item on the agenda. May I refer to it as singular sensations?

I recently caught myself planning an evening and determining the quality of the experience ahead by how many different possibilities and adventures I could line up in a row. You know what I mean–“we’re going out to dinner, then get in the car, drive to the movie theater, catch a flick, have some popcorn and then trail out for coffee afterwards with friends to discuss the feature we just viewed, closing off with returning home and …”

Get my drift? There are so many singular sensations in that plan of action that could be savored, but will be rushed through to get to the next experience, which may or may not be equally as fulfilling, but certainly will also be abandoned in order to stay on schedule. We have become a nation completely adept at planning fun–and never having it.

Nowhere is this more obvious to me than in the realm of kissing. When I watch a movie nowadays and two people meet and fall in love, they go through a few shenanigans to acquaint themselves with one another and then they kiss, leading to a cutaway shot to a bedroom sometime later, letting us know that the single kiss LEAPED into an evening of sexual intercourse.

Am I the only person who remembers how satisfying, fulfilling and terrifying kissing can be? Here is a positive aspect to abstinence–it does teach us to stop and enjoy the beauty of kissing. There is probably no other physical action between two human beings that universally expresses emotion and intimacy like kissing. Not even the sex act itself offers the same package of potential. Because candidly, sex can be very bland or even uninvited. But kissing is the cohesion of two wills at the same moment, to mesh agreeing purposes.

Does anyone remember the warmth of the breath of another human being just prior to making lip contact? How about the fragrance of the breath when you are so relieved to discover that your partner is not forbidding further contact? Can you recall when the lips meet for the first time–the moist tenderness of discovering that the pair on your face is making the pair on the other face sublimely pleased?

If the goal of every kiss is to end up in bed having sex, it is no wonder that our species is becoming bored. It’s like saying that every dinner must be followed by a movie, a cup of coffee, a discussion and, let’s say, sorting the laundry. Soon no one would ever want to have dinner.

I have never seen two people kissing who are prepared to argue, hurt each other, manipulate one another or cheat. It’s time for each of us to return to the power of the singular sensation–and linger there for a long moment to enjoy instead of rushing off into other pursuits.

I will no longer plan more than one event at a time. I will refuse to move on until I have drunken deeply of the cup of possibility. And I will never again in my life hurry through a kiss because I think it’s just a way to get something else.

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