Stop reading for a moment and try to remember your first kiss. Mine took place on a beach: I was wearing a long yellow shirt, dark hair nearly down to my waist and it was the end of the afternoon when everything is bathed in that perfect light that only the dying Summer can deliver. I was 16 and the boy, Paolo, was a couple of years older. A little romance that lasted no more than a week – difference cities, different lives. Not really love anyway. But he will always be the first boy who kissed me, hence occupying a piece of prominence in my autobiography.
Do you remember the expectation, the heart beating a little faster? Maybe even a sense of accomplishment? Would you wish it had been different? Or was it just perfect the way it was? We had nothing to compare it with, a blank slate to be crowded with new emotions.
I was reminded of my first kiss while watching the video director Tiatia Pilieva shot of twenty strangers who were asked to convene in a room, pair up and start kissing. Two and half million people probably were also taken down memory lane on the same day, that’s how many watched the touching (and heavily sped up) video.
In the interest of full disclosure, the project was not exactly shot for art’s sake – more for commercial purposes. And some of the strangers are professional actors and/or models. Still, the initial awkwardness, the circling around and the inevitable locking of lips did remind me of the teenager me. Other kisses were more meaningful, some sealed love or lust but always against the backdrop of that first emotion that, like many firsts, is exhilarating and never to be repeated.
Screen shot courtesy of Tatia Pilieva