So, this happened.
It was, like, two weeks ago now, so I think I can safely write about it without any danger of accidentally falling into relevance or generating traffic to the site from people who want to talk about it because it’s so fresh and exciting.
I have to admit that I watched it like five times, so of those 72 million views it’s garnered so far, at least five of them are mine.
It wasn’t until the second day that everybody found out it was a clothing commercial and got all scandalized that someone would make art for the sake of making money.
Making art for the sake of making money doesn’t bother me. If it did, I wouldn’t be attempting to write the next great Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic SciFi Romantic Dystopian Mystery story. I’d just lie in bed and dream about Lux and Summer and Lina and the boys.
Asking strangers to kiss for the sake of making art, that bothers me. Have to think a lot about why, though. Not sure I will get to it in the blog post.
Kisses are supposed to mean something.
If you don’t believe in meaning and reason and poetry and stuff, then feel free to disagree with me. If you think that kisses are part of natural selection, and that they were never anything more than an extra motivation to reproduce our species, then maybe it doesn’t matter. If you think that meaning itself is an illusion, than it really doesn’t matter.
I heard a theory once, that kissing was invented by breastfeeding mothers way back in our temporal history. If the mothers kiss their babies, then take in any inhabiting bacteria, they can develop the leukocytes that baby needs and pass them along in breast milk. A beautiful symbiosis. I wonder how long something like that would take to evolve. Would it be a biological tendency or would it be a sociological trend?
But if you think that’s all kissing is, well, like I said, it doesn’t really matter, does it? When you watch this video, you will feel a pleasant rush of chemical reactions. They will probably make you smile. If you’re anything like me, you’ll start to project. You’ll think about how sweet it would be if something of them got married and raised families and told their children they just knew from that moment.
But, you know, sometimes, they don’t.
I had this boyfriend in high school. He was – well, he was my first great love. I worshiped him. No, really, I did. If he liked something, I tried really hard to like it, too, and if I couldn’t manage, then I just liked that he liked it. I found all the thinks about us that were the same and I made those the only important thinks about me and who I was. And if he wanted me to do something, I wanted to want me to do it, too.
I as much as told him that, one day. I told him that I was glad he didn’t push me into doing things I didn’t want to do, because if he did, I would follow him.
And it didn’t take very long until he did.
The way he got me to do things I didn’t want to do was this: he would push me gently.
And when I said no, he would completely emotionally withdraw. He would emotionally abandon me, and he would say it was his fault, but I knew that it was mine.
Because he would do it again the next time.
And when I did go along with what he wanted to do – eventually, even on my own initiative because I wanted him to love me so badly – he would tell me that it was Very, Very Good because everything we did together wasn’t like the common things other people did. The things we did together Meant Something.
I think, I honestly think, that he thought he was telling the truth. I’m not angry at him anymore. He asked for my forgiveness, and I forgave him.
But what he said back then was a lie, you see, because he was Doing Things with other people, too.
After he left me, all those beautiful things that I felt meant something, were like dust and ashes to me. The funny thing about living in the fourth dimension is that although we think the past is safe because we can’t see it anymore, it’s not. Something in now can affect things in the past. If someone says ‘I love you’, it feels beautiful no matter what, but if you find out that the person was lying or manipulating you, or that they were just saying the words to accomplish another end, whatever that end is, the moment turns into dust. It’s nothing. It has no meaning.
But at the same times, the simplest things can be gilded by what happens in the future.
I met my husband in school. We were both new kids in our last year of high school. We didn’t start dating until the end of the year, and we were only on the borders of each other’s circles. We didn’t talk.
But we did sit next to each other in first period. I had German class. He had Spanish. We wore headphones and spoke into microphones. We were about four inches apart.
One day, during class, our shoulders touched.
The Chief doesn’t remember. My theory is that he just didn’t notice, because he was very, very tired – he worked a night shift at McDonalds too pay his tuition.
But I noticed.
And I didn’t move my shoulder. We sat like that for the whole period.
It felt nice.
It didn’t mean anything then. But now, after being together for fourteen years, after raising four gorgeous children, after putting up with unbelievable amounts of crap from each other, I look back on that day and remember – that was the first time I touched the man who I would spend the next decade and a half with. The moment has magic for me. I will never forget it.
If you want to make art about kisses that don’t mean anything, feel free. One of the great things about being alive in the First World in 2014. We can make whatever art we want as long as we don’t hurt someone else in the process. To me, though, all kisses are not alike. They look alike, they make you feel alike. But the real meaning of a kiss is not in the delicious newness, in the rush of emotions that flood over us for the first time, but in the impact it leaves on the whole of a life.
Sound cheesy? Oh, have we not met yet?
I’m Rach. I’m cheesy and romantic.