First Kiss Florence
Although after a week I couldn’t say I had “done” Rome, I had a hankering to see something of the countryside and another city, so I decided on a day trip to Florence.
Why Florence? Well, the first girl I ever kissed was Florence, Florence M. Her family had come from Tuscany, and she was named after the capital city of that province. The other kids sometimes referred to her as “Minnie Mouse” because her upper front teeth protruded slightly more than was absolutely necessary – unless stripping the bark from a tree limb was somehow involved – but I thought she was mighty cute anyway, especially when she nibbled cheese. Actually, her condition was not nearly as pronounced as her mother’s; my dad, a man not ordinarily given to hyperbole, once remarked that she could probably kiss her husband goodbye after he left the house.
I diligently practiced on my forearm until the skin puckered, and my mother threatened to take me to the doctor to see if I had leprosy; but when the moment arrived, I still was not accomplished at the fine art of osculation. One problem was that because of those teeth she lacked the usual chin belay point below her lips; a second was that since I was in constant danger of hyperventilating during the act itself, I couldn’t keep any suction going. Because of these unresolved issues, I kept slipping off the target and down into a void past that nonexistent chin safety net – I didn’t realize until much later in my career that since I kept ending up in the vicinity of her neck anyway, it could have been an option.
She and her family moved shortly after the ordeal (I don’t think there was a connection), and I never saw her again. But I’ve always worried that she might have become a nun out of disappointment. Later I heard that the family had returned to Italy. Perhaps she had gone to her namesake city and ended up in a convent. Since I would be in the neighborhood, I would check it out; and if she were there, I would – but, no; it would never work: I’m too out of practice; my forearm, even shaved, is no longer as inviting as it once was; I probably could not avoid the void; and with those high collars that many of the older nuns wear, the neck still might not be an option. Best to let things be: I will go to Florence and see Michelangelo’s David instead.