Kiss of life: The peck that saved me

“Gimme a kiss.” This time she closed her eyes and her flexing lips looked like thick, velvety flower petals

When I was stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana near Virginia Beach, Virginia, my best friend was a guy I’ll call Rick. Rick and I were beach and club buddies and were considered rebels among our shipmates because we flaunted regulations and generally behaved like sailors always looking for a good time.

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Sailors, New York, NY, May 2011. © Kathryn Mussallem

Rick is from the hood of Whittier, CA, and sported a cheesy mustache and looked like Sonny Crockett from “Miami Vice” when properly duded. In club mode, he wore white slip-on shoes, linen pants and pink long-sleeved shirts rolled up to showcase his muscled forearms.

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Credit: kocojim on Flickr

Rule benders

My shipmates called me “Shoney’s Big Boy” and “Bouffant” because I kept my wavy hair so much longer than regulation that I had to tuck it under my ball cap. Rick and I bent the rules as far as we could, and I think the “lifers” resented us for our devil-may-care attitudes. They especially resented Rick.

Rick is HIV positive and had to check into a Navy hospital annually for tests. Our shipmates’ dislike of him may have been more from fear than anything. Back then if you were HIV positive, you might as well have AIDS and be a dead man walking. I didn’t think much about it—I might have even drunk after Rick a few times.

Rick and I hit nightclubs in Norfolk every weekend. Not the beaten down, sailor dives where the few women there are life-worn things. Rick preferred “the sisters” so we went where African-American girls were. I was more into white girls, but sometimes played the dutiful wingman. It’s not that I found African-American girls unattractive; it’s that I felt so stiff and so, well … WHITE around them. I was an okay dancer, but ran out of moves in about twenty seconds. Rick was a dancing machine.

Objectified

Once, after dancing the night away, Rick steered us into an after-party with three young ladies. They wanted to stop at a burger place, so we pulled up and they went in. Well, Rick and two of the three girls went in—one stayed in the back seat with me.

She was a big girl—and strong—when she grabbed my arm and urged me to stay, it hurt. For the first time in my young life, I felt fear and doubt about my ability to fend off a woman. Not that I’d ever had to before, but at that moment, I thought there was a real chance I could be raped.

She looked at me ravenously, and I knew then what it must feel like to be a woman cornered by a lustful man. I felt like a piece of meat, and this girl was a tiger—a big, heavy, hungry tiger.

“Gimme a kiss,” she said lustily.

(Oh, no.) “Umm … are you hungry? They’re about to come back.” I thought it a good idea to remind her that the others would soon return—AND with food.

“Gimme a kiss. Yooz a FINE-lookin’ piece o’ white boy. GIMME IT.” She began to purse and flex her ample lips.

“Uh … (Please come back, Rick and girls. Please, someone, help me.) Oh, here they are now,” I said brightly.

They walked up giggling and carrying cardboard trays of burgers, fries and drinks. When they saw my wide-eyed relief and the way the girl had me cornered in one end of the seat, they looked jazzed for a show. Rick gave me a wink, as I shot him a “please help me, look.” All he did was start making moves on one of the girls as she tackled a burger.

“Gimme a kiss.” This time she closed her eyes and her flexing lips looked like thick, velvety flower petals opening and closing like in time-lapsed nature videos. Then she leaned in even closer.

“I . . . I really don’t want to,” I stammered.

She opened her eyes wide. “Why not? Somethin’ wrong wit me?”

“Oh no, there’s nothing wrong with you” (beside the fact that you don’t get that no means no). I guess I’m just hungry.”

“I’m HUNGRY, too—for YOU. Now gimme dat kiss!”

She flexed her lips again, and I could see there was no way out. I HAD to kiss her.

“Okay, but just one kiss, and then we can eat, right?”

“Okay. I’m ready.”

Like a frightened bird

She closed her eyes, pursed those colossal lips, and leaned in. I gave her the quickest peck in history—even quicker than one you’d give your grandmother as a kid. Her lips felt hot and formidable—like if I’d lingered, they would’ve pulled me in as a writhing, muscular vortex of lusty, unquenchable desire.

Happily, Rick bailed me out by opening the door and offering us burgers. With her distracted by food, I fled the back seat and made like I had to use the Hardee’s bathroom real bad. Actually, I did—she scared the pee out of me.

If this article entertains you, let me know by commenting below. I love feedback.

7 Replies to “Kiss of life: The peck that saved me”

  1. Well Big Boy, guess she reduced you to hamburger meat. I am distressed that you let the kiss go by without even a sigh!! Crazy buddy but love ya




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  2. Probably because it’s from my pre-conversion life. It happened pretty close to the end of it and the beginning of the new. I do remember Stiffie and the rest of our fun features of Europa 1990?




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  3. Oh my. Again…why didn’t I hear this story before?

    Speaking of stories, be sure to write about Europe. Remember Stiffie the street statue? Or trying to find a hotel at 4am in Venice? Remember the giant ski boot and trying to go to Russia? Or the Anna frank house……….




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