Today kids seem to know more about relationships when they are twelve than I do now at thirty-eight. When I was twelve I was just taking learning how to kiss. And the very first kiss took place at high noon in seventh grade.
Our classrooms were designed with a sort of "notch" in the back corner. The notch in the floor plan may have been some weird way to accommodate the heating ducts. But the nuns found that it was a great place to put a troublemaker. They forced you to slide your desk into this space in the back of the class. It was like putting your desk in a closet with no door.
At lunchtime the nuns would empty the class, turn out the lights and lock the door until after lunch. I think it was Gordon who figured out if someone sneaked into the shadows of the "notch" right around 11:57 that once the door was shut they could then unlock it from the inside. A group of three girls and three guys would then sit outside in the deserted hall during lunch and play spin-the-pen. This was our junior high lunchtime version of spin-the-bottle. Since you don’t have a bottle you just take your Bic and spin it on the floor. The lucky couple would then go in the dark classroom and make their way back to the "notch" and suck face for a couple minutes and come back for another spin. Eventually, the pen didn’t even "spin" much. The person with the pen would pretend to spin it but really just plop it down so it pointed to the person they wanted.
Judy was the first girl I won spin-the-pen with. She had shoulder length brown hair, big brown eyes and whiter teeth than anyone should be allowed to have. We held hands as we made our way to the notch corner. Once there I put my arms around her but I couldn’t see her because it was pitch black. I puckered my lips and stuck them out into the darkness. I moved my head back and forth like an oscillating fan hoping to bump into her lips. Somewhere in the darkness she said; "I can’t find you." I slowly inched my pre-puckered lips forward into the void until they touched down on her forehead and scraped back though her hair, narrowly missing being cut by her lime green berets.
I bent down more and pushed my dry lips on to hers. Her breath tasted like Bubble Yum. She moved her mouth around so I did the same. I was just getting the hang of it when she pushed her tongue into my mouth. She then thrust it in and out. I didn’t know what to do next. My lips were now motionless. The only thing I could think of was to slowly close my teeth on to her tongue. I was a human tongue scraper!
Once you kissed Judy you wanted to kiss every girl in the school. (Well, almost every girl). So, we had make out parties. We didn’t call them "make out parties", of course. Somebody would just say, "we’re getting together at Ellen’s house Friday night". The first half of the party we spent doing one of two things. Playing the OUIJA board. Or trying to levitate someone. Levitating a kid was serious business- one kid would lie on the ground and fifteen others kids would surround them. Then they would put their fingers lightly underneath the prone kid’s body. The idea was that by concentrating on our "combined energy", we would be able to lift the kid in the air. Then someone would fart and break the spell. These diversions were delays for the real action. Eventually couples would move to a corner of the room to suck face sitting on a beanbag chair with duct tape over the holes while the Rolling Stones played "Angie".
But somehow it wasn’t near as exciting as scraping Judy’s tongue with my teeth in the dark corner of a classroom in the middle of the school day in the dead of a Canadian winter.