Something unusual happened the other night. Henry and I spent a long time kissing. I’m sad to say this has become unusual.
When it’s time to hit the sack and sex is on the menu, there’s some perfunctory kissing and then we get down to business. Mostly because if the warm-up takes too long, we will fall asleep.
I once fell asleep with my head on his foot. I will spare you the details of what exactly I was doing down there, but let me just tell you it was a dangerous situation.
Henry has Restless Legs Syndrome and could’ve kicked me in the noggin, causing the kind of brain trauma found only in veteran NFL linemen.
So. What led to this amorous kissing? Henry, look away. Just. Look. Away. You don’t want to know my inner life. It will ruin the romance. Mother-in-law? This information could be deadly. Your eyes could be burned by shame fire. Just close the computer.
Here is how I perfected the art of making out with my husband:
Okay. Here’s the truth. I was lying on the couch watching Stephen Soderbergh’s feature Traffic, starring many A-list stars and Benicio Del Toro. Unlike Scarlett Johansson, I have no desire to have sex with Benicio Del Toro in an elevator. I just don’t.
He frequently looks as if he doesn’t bathe and that he might be cultivating a crop of something in his beard. Although he does bear an uncanny resemblance to Brad Pitt. Only not.
Benicio’s never been on my radar. Until that particular night watching Traffic. There was just something about his furrowed brow, devilish grin, and badass tangles with the narco-trafficantes.
I was a little annoyed when Henry came in and spooned me on the couch. I wanted space to relish this momentary fantasy and he was kind of interrupting that with his kindness and domestic snuggles.
I was in a Benicio coma, wanting to taste a bit of his danger.
Then a thought struck me. I could close my eyes and imagine Henry was in that danger. I could imagine he’d been down in Tijuana grappling with drug lords and corrupt policia. That he could blow cigarette smoke from his nostrils like an Irish Diablo. That he was an adrenaline junkie who liked to dance with the Lady Death, willing to pay the ultimate price.
So I rolled over and kissed my husband.
(Here we are, hot and dangerous at a Bar Mitzvah)
Not a quick peck to say goodnight. Not as a gesture of marital love. But as though I were kissing him for the first time. As though his kiss was unexplored, unexpected territory. And I think, because of my commitment to this suspension of disbelief, something new, fresh and surprising translated to my man and his experience of the kiss.
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He made sounds I’d never heard him make before. He smelled and tasted different. We were in the moment and in the kiss. It didn’t need to be more than a kiss. The kiss was the experience. And it lasted a long time. A first date amount of time.
Marriage is this amazing flower, with layers of petals sometimes opening, sometimes closed tight like a fresh new bud. We must be willing to pull back the layers to smell the new, rich, buried fragrances hidden at its core.
Sweet mother of God, I am waxing poetic. It was just that kind of kiss. Thank you, Mr. Del Toro.
Shannon Bradley-Colleary is a writer of films, books, and several teenaged/young adult journals. She is the author of To The Stars: A Novel.
This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.