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  • Jerry Della Femina

MY FIRST KISS



Summer is over.


Where did it go?


There was no June.


Where did it go?


The summer of 2018 will go down as a summer of rain, floods and fires.


Trump is still president and he’s lied us into submission.


Every day – lies and more lies.


His lies are stronger than our decency.


He’s the greatest offender, but somehow he seems to be immune to the MeToo movement.


Anyway, Trump and the weather and the fact that my life is moving too fast is causing me to take this week off from column-writing.


What follows is an old column that I wrote a few years ago about trying to steal my first kiss. When I re-read it I realized that I may have turned an innocent little 12 year old Italian girl named Rose into a dedicated MeToo commando today, who is planning to send my name to the New York Post, naming me a 12-year-old Harvey Weinstein…


Here’s how it happened:


Do you remember your first real kiss?


I remember mine as if it were yesterday. It was summer. I was about 12 years old and I took my date (her name was Rose) to the Kingsway Theater on Kings Highway in Brooklyn.


Nervous? There wasn’t a pore in my body that wasn’t flooded. My armpits needed leaders and gutters. My body felt like it had a temperature of 106 degrees. My hands and feet felt 30 degrees colder.


I was also nauseous because in preparation for this first “date,” I had brushed my teeth about 20 times and was in danger of dying from an overdose of Colgate toothpaste.


Rose thought I was the strong, silent type. Actually, I couldn’t talk because I had a mouth full of Life Savers. I had consumed two packs of Wintergreen Life Savers from the minute I had picked her up at home. So every time I let out a breath I smelled like a walking Airwick bottle.


The movie was called “Pagan Love Song,” starring Esther Williams.


We sat in the balcony and I was too shy to put my arm around Rose so I put it around her seat instead. The movie was almost two hours long and Esther Williams spent most of those two hours swimming.


I spent the two hours in pain. My arm had cramped up in this awkward position and then it went to sleep. It was dead. Useless. I think I cut off the circulation and to this day I can’t throw a baseball 10 feet and I blame it all on that seat in the Kingsway Theater.


At one point I realized that I couldn’t move my arm – I had no control over it and probably would never be able to move it again. I wondered if it would have to be amputated. This made me giggle hysterically to myself.


Unfortunately, I had this thought during a love scene between Esther Williams and Howard Keel. Rose then said her first word of the afternoon to me: “Shuuuussssssh.”


Finally, during the scene where Esther Williams was swimming underwater (and I think singing at the same time), I decided to try to kiss Rose. My dead right arm, which I had counted on for foreplay and balance, was useless. So I had to try to move my body and sort of lurch at the same time. It put me off-balance and, even though I was aiming for her lips, I missed and sort of kissed her on the bridge of her nose and on her right eye. She sort of summed up what my sex life was going to be like forever when she said, “Stop that. We’re going to miss the good part of the movie.”


I may have been 12, but being thrown over for Esther Williams didn’t do much for my sense of self-esteem. It was then I decided to retrieve my right arm, but in order to do that I had to reach over Rose’s head with my left hand and pick up my dead right arm and swing it over her head. I didn’t do that as well as I should have and wound up accidentally hitting her in the back of the head with my dead arm. “What’s wrong with you?” she said, thereby becoming the first person to ask a question that I’ve been asked many times since.


If you wish to comment on “Jerry’s Ink” please send your message to jerry@dfjp.com

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