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The International Writers Magazine
:Life and Death - just a kiss away

Going, Going, Gone!
Colin Todhunter on kisses

I can still recall the first time I kissed her. It was in fact the first tine I had kissed anyone. She was beautiful. We were both in the full bloom of youth and felt that life would last forever. I did not know her for long, but all these years later I still remember her. That kiss was a kiss for life: a celebration of youth, of living for the now, and of hope for the future.

And I still remember my last kiss. It was only two weeks ago. But it was somewhat different. That is an understatement. It could not have been more different. The difference between my first and last is gargantuan.
It was also a kiss for life. The type of kiss I gave on the last occasion is actually known as the kiss of life. You know the kind: mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Trying to breathe life into someone. But what happens when the person is not resuscitated? What happens when that person is already dead and deep down you keep on trying just in case you may be wrong? Well, I was virtually certain that he was “gone”, but persisted nonetheless. Where life has once been, there is always hope. How can it just disappear into thin air? - merely fade away like that?

But it didn’t return. It can’t be captured and held, only released. And it was a strange feeling, giving the kiss of life to someone already dead. More like a kiss of death, a kiss for death. As he lay there, a mere bundle of lifeless tissues, I felt frustrated: I couldn’t do anything to change matters and I felt the world had lost a man, so full of energy and eternal optimism. And there was of course the thumping reminder that one day I would be as he was: a humbling sensation to say the least.

I had known that girl from years back fairly well. I had also known that man who lay dead quite well. Two kisses, decades apart. I’ll always recall the first and I’ll never forget the last; one for love and one for life: both recipients now lost forever.

It was all just a breath away. Sorry for the glib cliché. Life's like that at times: getting to the point where you just can't be bothered to finish on a deep and meaningful note. Best just to take one last gasp and merely fade away...
© Colin Todhunter March 2004

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