- Marya Kazmi
Kiss of Life
Updated: Apr 9
I was new to online dating only half a year out of my marriage and truthfully the three dates I had been on up to that moment were uneventful and left no impression other than one week in and I was already sick of dating. I even called one of my guy friends on the way to one of these dates complaining about the flatness to these meetings with new people. As I whined, “The conversation doesn’t engage me, and it feels no different than if I met some new person through work and was having some surface level pleasantries. Where is the passion and excitement? I wish I could meet a guy who gets me excited to be on a date.” In a rare occurrence in my life, that energy was heard from somewhere in the universe and led me to that kiss of life.
There was this one guy who asked interesting questions and had more than one word responses. But we had missed connecting twice already. One was a car issue he had to take care of and the other a missed opportunity for a facetime call. Until Superbowl Sunday. That morning started with my girlfriend’s tarot reading about my past, present and future just before another failed meetup for coffee. One in which I had become so cut throat and honest in my approach to this dating thing, before we even reached the end, I said “I could see us being friends”. I clearly was failing at this dating thing early on and the pickings were feeling very slim.
Then I got a message that night while working on a presentation for a huge session that next Monday morning and it was the guy who I kept missing. He happened to be driving home on the night of Superbowl Sunday from dropping off his son and wanted to know if we could meet up. Despite my irritation with dating from the start of the week and three back to back disappointments, I figured let me just give it a try, he had some more potential in conversation then the rest of these guys, maybe this date will be different.
My irritation remained on the back burner, so I consciously did little to look cute or make a whole lot of effort feeling certain it would most likely be another let down. I threw on a pair of jeans and a simple shirt, swiped some lip gloss adding a quick spray of perfume thinking I’ll probably be back soon to finish up this work because what could possibly come from another date with an online stranger.
I liked that he had picked a place although I knew it was for his own dietary needs as a vegan and not necessarily about mine, but it was close to my house for convenience and he made the decision without having to ask too many questions. I was feeling the initiative on his part for to start. I walked in this small bar being new to the area I had never been to. It had a retro feel and vibe. Ok, so far he gets some points although I was there before him. So I took in the space while I waited. He walked in, looking like the pictures. That’s a plus. He greeted me with a hug that felt comfortable quickly and then his first words were, “That’s cool that you got here before me.”
I am not gonna lie, he was attractive to me right away. He had a smooth mocha skin tone, a slender face and his soft brown eyes pulled me in and felt familiar. He had the combo that made me a little weak and wore it well, a gray salt and pepper beard with a smooth shaved head that just begged to be touched. He was almost a decade older than me, but like me, you could hardly tell. It was a winter night so he had layers on, but I could tell he had some muscles and a nice frame underneath the bulk of the sweater. So far I am not unhappy that I left my house at 9pm for my current situation.
As soon as we sat and ordered the conversation flowed without any hesitation or awkwardness. Real topics without too much revealed, yet enough to get a sense of who he was and what continued to intrigue me and compelled me to feel I wanted to know him and his story more. We covered the basics, kids, exes, jobs and as we did the commonalities of our lives and paths started to come out. Flowing into interests and stories of where we grew up, passions we delved into on the side and more and more while eagerly peeling the layers of each other's lives to take in as much as we could.
At one point he said, “If we had met before even when you were married I think we would have still talked”. The funny thing is, as cocky as it now seems to have said that on a first date, I understood what he was really saying. It was as though our souls knew each other already and whenever they were introduced we would have felt the connection. That’s the crazy coinciding thing about online dating. You never know who you may meet living in the same area that connects with you on so many levels. if it wasn't for the online dating swipe, they would have never been in your orbit unless fate brought you together.
We ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots because this spot is known for them. The way he got excited about these vegan options and the tots, I realized secretly that is also what he must have been craving when he picked this spot. But truthfully the excitement he showed was endearing and cute. I liked his goofiness coupled with his good conversation and it made it all even better that he was easy on the eyes.
While sipping on hard cider and craft beers we talked and talked until the moment was interrupted by an ensuing altercation at the bar with an unruly white guy who was loud and brash to the bartenders and manager. He was talking about being disrespected as they were all calmly ushering him out and making sure his inebriated ass didn’t get in a car. It didn’t deter us, in fact his reaction was like mine and made me think he was even cooler. Responses to awkward and unexpected moments say a lot. Cool, calm and witty are always a plus for me. The alignment of our energy was on point at this moment.
This guy just kept checking off these boxes of people I want to spend more time with. Funny, witty, nerdy and smart and at the point of being a stranger, seemingly had his life together with adulting goals and as a father. Was this for real? Did I really meet someone that excites me where I feel the spark just sitting across from the table? What's the catch?
I think I even recall becoming comfortable enough to accidentally touch his leg with mine, but allow it to linger comfortable with the closeness rather than feeling I was overstepping my first date controlled persona. We walked in at 9 pm and at 11:30 we looked down at our barely eaten meals still deep in conversation. I was so into the flow of the dialogue I forgot there was a meal in front of me and so did he.
We walked out together and he escorted me to my car. While standing at the passenger's side door of my white Kia Optima, we said our goodbyes with a warm and cozy hug. Then he looked me in the eyes, placed his hands on my face and pulled me in for a kiss.
At this stage in life and dating I was shy and had not had any intimacy of any kind since my seventeen year marriage. But something about that kiss drew me in and felt familiar and safe. It wasn’t a peck, it was a KISS, the kind that curls your toes and lifts you a little off the ground. He held my waist, pulled me in and I melted into it. My job responsibilities helped me pump the brakes for sure, because it was truly tempting to take him 5 minutes up the road and back to my place. But I knew I had to go home and continue working to be up early for a session with educators on a module for “Making Whiteness Visible”. So we left and went our separate ways after the kiss and lingering goodbyes.
He gave me the kiss of life. I walked into my house like I was on a cloud. This was a date like no other and he felt like someone that was so unfamiliar and different from all the past men in my life, yet every moment happened with ease and in alignment. His energy felt familiar and I let my usually high and tough guard down with such ease it terrified and ignited me at the same time.
As I stood against my bedroom door I had this almost movie worthy moment of feeling euphoric as I touched my lips recalling the kiss lingering on them and how he made me feel a little regretful that the evening had ended there. Now I was anticipating the next moment I would get to see and talk to him again.
The kiss of life, sparked something dormant inside of me that after the shutdown of all passion and emotional connections in my marriage, I never thought I would have a chance to experience. It opened up a new world of possibilities but little did I know it also started the evolution of becoming the Brown Girl Interrupting.
Four years later, and the places, and emotional highs and lows that it led to, have forever transformed who I am and how I see love and men. Some have been gifts, others lessons and there is still more to be seen with time and the flow of life.
There must have been an angel by my side, because something led me to him and towards the kiss of life.