Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music

You never know when, how or why 'it' appears. The 'experts' will talk about puberty, adolescence, maturity. But you will still be confused. You want someone to explain to you how 'it' got there. And why it's ranging your body, making you feel... so awkward towards this girl/boy that until yesterday you hated. You want exegeses, but at the same time you want 'it' to materialise. Ardently. Touch, press, join, you collect words, you play with them. You crave union. You want 'it'. If only to find out what 'it' tastes like.

The love kiss. Once we succumb to its might, are we ever the same?


It lies dormant for many years, this kiss, this rebel, this harbinger of bliss and misery. It finds shelter in your relatively cool interior until it's time to come out and hunt and feed.

The love kiss. The process. The eyes, pleadingly searching for a sign, any sign. Will it be a yes or a no? The palpitations. The pulse racing. The date in the park, after school. The song in your head: 'espera a un muchacho de secundaria/en casa no dejan que vea a nadie' (waits for a secondary school boy/back home she's not allowed to see anyone). And now here he/she comes. And you both laugh, and relax. And laugh and relax. And laugh. And relax. And you look in each other's eyes. And you know, everybody knows, even the Martians know. The pincers come out, the heads will tilt (clumsily at first, and you both giggle). And then, the exploration, you two in your own world, guided only by Christopher Columbus. Have we arrived yet? Is this the route to India? No, but who cares, there's only one ship, one crew, you're it. You are the love kiss. Lips first, rubbing, seeking. Eyes. Are they open? Are they closed? Can your remember? Does anyone give two hoots? Let's go back to the lips. Fleshy folds which you clumsily press against your human replica. The abracadabra that will make the drawbridge fall down. And then you enter the castle.

Fellow male bloggers will agree or disagree with me vehemently on the following assertion. Probably cyber-shoes will be hurled at this transgressor for stating the bleeding obvious: from the minute we enter the kissing game we (men), most of us, I hasten to add, are playing catch-up. We focus more on the prize at the end of the contest and not the journey there. We think more of the forbidden fruit and less of the time it takes for it to ripen. 'Wordplay is the best foreplay', someone famous said once and in those wise words the term 'kiss' should be inserted somewhere conspicuosly.

But catching up we do and depending on how open-minded with and willing to learn from our other half we are, the results are all the more enjoyable: 'A kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh/The fundamental things apply/As time goes by '. Note the word 'fundamental'. Bergman's Ilsa fell for Bogart's Rick not just because he was handsome but also because the guy could kiss.

For Klimt it wasn't just the act of kissing but the before and after, the liberation of the id. Look at the couple's contours: they dissolve. Can you sit there at your computer and tell me that you have never ever dissolved as a result of a kiss? That you have never melted utterly to the point of liquidness, only to be scooped up, rushed to hospital and put in a freezer until you recover your solid form again? It happened to me. And reader, I married her.

I can't end this post today without acknowledging one of the most romantic songs ever written about the love kiss. In the space of three stanzas - plus a refrain - the Spanish singer songwriter Victor Manuel describes the beauty and contretemps, the desire and wrath caused by this act. There's a nostalgic undertone in 'A Dónde Irán los Besos' (Where Will Kisses Go?) in lines such as this one: 'A dónde irán los besos que guardamos, que no damos/donde se va ese abrazo si no llegas nunca a darlo' (Where will our ungiven kisses go/What about that hug if your answer's also no). Have you ever wondered if the love kiss you were meant to give, fell into a big void and it went




until it was rescued by your new lover? And then you probably sang: 'te vi, te vi, te vi/yo no buscaba a nadie y te vi' (I saw you, you, you/ I was not looking for anyone and yet I saw you)

Copyright 2010

Next Post: 'The Trouble with Islam' by Irshad Manji (Review), to be published on Tuesday 16th February at 11:59pm (GMT)


  1. Whoa..I don't want to be the first to comment. Or is this the one that will have to pass blog owner's approval.

    Happy Sunday Cuban. Somehow I imagined you as Professor Langdon. But the symbols of your expertise, I am not quite sure.

  2. What a wonderful post to start my Valentine's Day on this side of the pond. Great music, great memories, and, let's not forget, great expectations of kisses to come.

  3. ¡Me encantan tus post domingueros!

    Yo con mis 56 años, recibo cada mañana el beso que me da mi compañero de 63 años, desde hace 26 años y once meses.
    Es un beso de amor, un beso que me da la calor suficiente para emprender el día, venga éste como venga.
    Otra cosa es la pasión sexual, que ya es otra historia.

    ¡Buena semana!

  4. Many thanks for your wonderful comemnts. I'm havingan excellent Valentin's, looking forward to a Sunday roast. About the clip, just in case the singer's accent deludes you. He is a Brazilian legend, Caetano Veloso. Therefore his mother tongue is Portuguese. Yet, I can only marvel at his cover of this love song, originally written and sung by the Argentinian artist Fito Paez. There's a funny story about the first time Caetano sang this song in public and Fito's wife was in the audience. But I shall leave that for later. I don't want to be a spoilsport today.

    Greetings from London.

  5. Sorry, I meant "an excellent Valentine's".:-) And it should be the singer's accent 'eludes' you.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Hello London,
    Terrific post!! Quite fun to get the guy's take on the Kiss - and of course it's up to your usual fine standards. I loved your description of the terrible, awkward tentativeness of the first kiss.

  7. Great post, took me back a bit! ;-) Hope you've been enjoying a wonderful and loving Valentine's Day!

  8. The kiss is like a flea, it skips from one lover to the forgotten...kiss is always remembered!
    Dissolving now.. takes me the length of this post to fall in love! Happy St. V. Day...

  9. Oh, the anticipatory joy of the first kiss. Always delightful. Though I am clearly past those days now safely married :)

  10. When I was a little girl I would run and hide under the kitchen table to avoid being kissed by my visiting relatives.

    Of course you are not talking about such kisses, here.

    The thrill of the first kiss contrasts with the horrible awkwardness of the unwelcome one. But perhaps we should not reflect on such things so close to Valentines day.

    Thanks, Cuban, for a terrific post.

  11. This was interesting to read, the kiss from a male point of view. So poetic a description, I am happy for you and your wife.


  12. Many thanks for your kind feedback.

    Greetings from London.

  13. Cuban, if this wasn't the perfect post for Valentine's, then I don't know what is! I enjoyed reading those feelings, rocky feelings, a man experiences from a kiss. Well, we all experience those feelings. But sometimes I wonder if we ladies experience it differently. Your description of kissing reads like poetry... and it's nice that you didn't write it as poetry... it makes it read like poetry even more! I think that kissing is one of the most intimate expressions of love, if not the most intimate. Kissing is even more intimate than lovemaking itself. Maybe kissing is the very essence of lovemaking. Just my thoughts... and just why I enjoyed this post so very much.


  14. Your wife is one lucky lady. The melting dissolving kiss...what a perfect description. I truly believe for the woman it begins in the mind and a kiss is a wonderful way to start~! What woman doesn't want to be scooped up after you have made her melt?! Happy Belated Valentine's Day and I hope you don't get too many cyber shoes hurled at you.

  15. Happy Valentine's Cuban... I am afraid I am still awaiting that first kiss of dissolution.
    I have only experienced the first kiss of bitter disillusion. The music eases me as I await 'it'...

  16. " laugh and relax" ?
    Never. Not then, not ever. That first kiss, at whatever time of your life, is a precursor to much knee- trembling and heart-racing. By the tenth kiss you might be able to relax, because you know how it goes on . . . .

    Ah, romance . . . .
    I am sure you know it gets better as you get older. Kids don't know the half of it.

  17. oh, Mr. Cuban, you are too funny in this..thank god you mentioned the Martians and the fact that many men are so eager to get to the prize that they forget (how is that possible, the woman asks? what's the matter here?) the foreplay which is, when it's said and done, not just wordplay...
    But Johnny Cash brings redemption, down, down, down...

  18. Cuban,

    I awarded you an Honest Scrap Award for your blog! Check out my latest blog post to collect it.


  19. Many thanks for your kind words.

    Greetings from London.

  20. Dear CubaninLondon,

    Excellent essay on The Kiss. Of which
    I must admit to being a huge fan. I must
    also admit all this time I thought you
    were a woman. Wow. Didn't notice your bio.




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