I was 18--just a kid with a big dream backpacking through Europe with two buddies.
We ended up in the Italian Riviera in the costal towns of Cinque Terre. It was breathtaking.
The first night, while walking on the beach, we bumped into a group of young Italians where I met this girl who was simply stunning (+2, although that was too easy). We hung out for the next two days. Laughing while trying to understand each other, eating gelato and strolling around the villages. On my last night there, she told me to meet her on the beach.
As I approached the appropriate (a)place (that was an Italian accent, so +2.5), I heard soft love ballads playing and saw an array of candles surrounding a gently tossed blanket resting slightly in front of the encroaching tide. The sky above lit the surrounding scene with starlight as as distant Mediterranean lighting storm softly silhouetted (+3) an old stone lighthouse on the near horizon. And there, under the watchful eye of lady luck, I was without choice.
I couldn't not kiss her.
And just as I was trying to figure out which way to turn my head (I've since learned it is ALWYAS right for the first kiss), BOOM! She went in for it and laid one on me.
[Ladies read here] It was magical.
[Fellas read here] It was (deep voice) sweeeeeeEEEEEEEEeeeeet!
The next morning she met me outside and walked me to my train where we kissed one last time before I stepped on board amidst the conductor yelling in Italian "All aboard!" I opened the window and touched her hand as the train slowly pulled out of the station. She ran along side of the train until the end of the platform and as I went speeding off into the distance I knew that while I might not have gotten a varsity jacket in high school (I got my first letter end of my senior year), I had a story to make my father proud.
This was the kind of stuff that you can't write about (except for every classic love movie, book, poem....and this blog post. Okay, I take that back). This was the kind of stuff that you HAVE to write about. It was exactly how I envision the Epstein Twin's saw what a kiss should be.
So there, at 18, with my 4 words of Italian and her 100 or so words of English, I learned a lesson that I first heard in 1989: