I remember the first time I kissed a boy. I was in first grade (floozy!) and huddled with some of my friends on the playground at recess. They dared me to walk up to Jacob Goldman*, tap him on the shoulder, and plant one on him. I don’t remember why first graders were thinking about kissing or why they chose Jacob in particular (proximity? friendly demeanor? gorgeous curls?), I just know that I marched right up to him, interrupted his basketball game and did it. I ran back to my friends, my hand over my mouth in a fit of giggles. Jacob was red cheeked and confused. I felt pretty bad ass. Until I got on the bus at the end of the day.
Mike Prescott, one of Jacob’s friends and one of the boys who was playing basketball with him, caught me in his sights as soon as he got on the bus. He walked up to my sticky green pleather seat and said “You kissed Jacob.” I burst into giggles again, unable to control myself. He seemed less amused and just shook his head. “You know, that’s how you get AIDS.” He walked away and my face dropped.