on beards and kisses

i work at a soup kitchen.  occasionally while under the influence of various substances, but mostly ethyl alcohol, folks at the kitchen come to find themselves in a situation in which they must tell me they love me.  today was one of these days.  a guy that often comes to the kitchen, lets call him clavin, is a nice guy at least to me, but also the kind of  badass i can imagine beating the living shit out of me if i crossed him, was celebrating his birthday.  he asked for a hug, now a manly dude like this doesn’t ask for a hug that often, i’m willing to bro down with this guy, plus i don’t want to cross him and have him break out some chains on my ass.  after my hug i get a i love you man, and then the topping on his drunken cake of affection, a kiss.  now the problem with the kiss is the placement, and i’ve had this situation arise before, and i understand the logistics involved but it’s in no way made it any less creepy.  the normal location for a kiss of the sort meant to convey affection, but not romance at least within the culture i was raised in is the cheek.  there are two obstacles that make this a difficult location to place ones lips on with me.  for one i’m almost six foot, and therefore taller than most of the people that come to embrace me.  the other is my large beard that makes it hard to find the target cheek, only a small patch of flesh left open under my eye.  given this situation the place folks always go for is the largest piece of flesh open to them, my neck.  now the neck for whatever reason is a very private spot to me, it’s not that i don’t like being kissed on the neck, but i tend to think of it as a area reserved for some of the people in my life that i have had the most intimate relationships with if you catch my drift.

so when calvin, a man who’s relationship is based on a couple of hours of helping him work on his bike plants a fat wet kiss on my neck, i can’t help but be taken aback, alarmed, and a little violated.  even now many hours later i can feel the spot on the right side of my neck where he kissed me, as though it were scarred.

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