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first kiss


first kiss

Scott Bahlmann

Dear M,

There have been a lot of new marriages and engagements taking place with the recent court success for marriage equality, among them is the boy who was my first kiss. Even though I was out and proud in college, I was later than most people to a lot of relationship experiences, perhaps because I was a bit of a novelty in my transparency. My first date with another guy was during my fourth year of college.

My sophomore year, however, at the age of 21, I had my first kiss (discounting of course the theatrical kisses I’d had, with girls). This was a romantic kiss, impulsively inspired by the passion of the moment, with another guy. We were both part of the theatre department, often working together to build stage sets. He was a return missionary, who had professed his interest in girls, even dating them. I just saw him as a friendly guy, not too caught up in his Mormonism (as most theatre students weren’t) to hang out with the non-mormon gay guy.

Still, I liked him. He was cute and fun, and a bit flirty. Once I passed him a screw while he stood on a ladder and he said something like "Thanks for screwing me". I wished that he was gay because I was falling for him, and I wished that he was straight because I'd never had this comfortable familiarity with anyone and I didn't want that to change.

We both did the set construction for the pay, more interested in performing. He had a particular interest in dance and musical theatre, but hadn't seen Moulin Rouge. I talked it up to him and we decided to watch it at my place. It was in the evening, and dark out even when we started, so it was probably early winter. I have very poor sense of time, so you’ll have to forgive potential inaccuracies. We both sat on the couch, and watched the movie. He was a big fan.

I think he must have had a dance class the day before, he had mentioned his soreness, and I massaged him a bit as we watched the extra features; information about the costumes, the music, the dancing. We were sitting next to each other, close on the couch. I think we had been chatting about something. Was the title menu music running on repeat, or was it just in my mind? My brain was a bit fuzzy from the late hour, and it all seemed kind of dreamlike as our foreheads touched, his mouth so close to mine, and I repeated over and over in my mind “kissme, kissme, kissme, kissme.” Then his tongue was in my mouth.

We slid to the floor and lay as close to each other as our bodies allowed. Time passed, who knows how much, and we had settled into cuddling. I asked him about his interest in girls. It was the typical case, and what I had wished against. He was conflicted by his religion, and felt having a relationship with a girl was his obligation, that gay was just something to get out of his system.

I didn't want to contribute to this complication, realizing that it needed to be handled by different people in their own way. By the time I graduated, he still hadn't handled it, but we'd remained friends, working on shows together and sometimes snuggling during a  movie if the apartment was empty. Our relationship had changed, though. The easy flirtation was gone, I guess because of the underlying secret. We haven't really had any interaction since then, but I'm glad that he's now come to a resolution, and is happily engaged.



p.s. ...and so am I =]