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An Unfortunate PDA

The action begins with an open hand (left or right, it doesn’t matter) against your lips. After a brief moment, you extend your arm at a 45-degree (approx.) angle toward your subject as you simultaneously utter the sound effect I believe is spelled “MMMWWWAAAHHH!!!”

We’ve all seen it; in movies, on TV shows, maybe even played out in real life as a friend bids you a fond adieu! Just before jumping on the train to some exotic, far-off land. I’d seen it plenty of times myself, a kiss (with its “sidecar” sound effect) thrown toward another (or group of “anothers”), dramatically and publicly displaying their love, devotion and gratitude.

To my knowledge, I’d never thrown a kiss in my life. To anyone. It seemed out of character for someone like me. Admittedly, some can pull it off, and when they do, it certainly makes a bold statement, one that’s difficult to ignore whether you’re the recipient or simply an innocent bystander, “collateral damage” in such a brash maneuver. (Let’s face it, isn’t that – collateral damage -- what we all feel like when someone blows a kiss not to us, but to someone standing near us? I mean, we still saw and “caught” the thrown kiss, but it wasn’t meant for us. A letdown, to be sure.)

At any rate, I was never much of a fan of the thrown kiss (or its smaller sibling the “blown kiss”), so I guess that’s why I never threw one.

Until last week.

I was on a morning run, as is part of my general daily routine. (I hesitate to use the word “regimen,” because that sounds intense, official and impressive. My runs are none of those things. They are, quite truthfully, nothing more than simple routine. Actually, “slog” might be a more accurate and appropriate term for what I do. But I digress.)

Usually, I get up with the dog before dawn (because somewhere along the line, she decided that, she too, is a morning “person”), take care of her needs (you can fill in the details), and then get my morning rolling. After a couple of hours, I’ll head out on the aforementioned run/slog, to clear my head, get the blood pumping and ready myself for the shank of the day.

Before I get too far into the story, you need to know that my eyesight is less than ideal, yet I generally don’t wear glasses when I run (for various reasons). This will play a role later on.

Anyway, on a cloudy, cool morning last week, I laced up my running shoes and hit the road to tool around the neighborhood and adjacent subdivisions.

Forty minutes later (give or take), I made the turn back into our subdivision. I felt good, relaxed and ready to tackle the day. My body was energized, my mind clear. “Carpe diem!” and all that jazz.

As I came around a corner, I noticed a black, late-model sedan (a description I ripped directly from a 1970s cop show) coming toward me. Without thinking, and forgetting my record of never, ever throwing a kiss to anyone, something suddenly came over me. (Runner’s high? Flair for the dramatic? Stupidity?) I felt my right arm bending as my right palm closed in on my lips. Seconds later, like someone or something had taken control of my body, it happened. I had thrown my first-ever kiss, in galactically dramatic fashion nonetheless (like, “Robin Williams” dramatic) to Joan as she drove past on her way to work.

Moments later, upon arriving home, I realized it wasn’t Joan at all in that black, late-model, sedan. However, since I wasn’t wearing my glasses, I don’t know who it was. Ironically, had I been wearing my glasses, I would have seen who it was and certainly refrained from showing that person (male, female, young, old, it’s all still a mystery) such a brazen, public display of affection.

Was I embarrassed after the fact? Sure. Was it the first time I’ve done something like this? Hell not. Will it be the last? I can’t imagine why it would be.

Since then, I’ve been wondering about my victim. Were they surprised (Yes)? Confused (Probably)? Flattered (Likely, no). Did they mistake it for some other gesture? (Good lord, I hope not. I can’t imagine what else one could mistake a thrown kiss for.) Did they even notice? (Who am I kidding, of course they did. I couldn’t have been more obvious if I were that huge, clanging arm that comes down at a train crossing.)

It bugs me that someone in my neighborhood, someone still unidentified, shares this experience with me; this embarrassing yet funny and completely innocent case of mistaken identity.

Now I’m on edge, wondering if every black, late-model sedan that passes is looking at me differently. Or, when I pass a house with a black, late-model sedan in its driveway, are the occupants of that house talking about the incident, hopefully laughing but maybe concerned about “that guy down the street.” (“Is he OK? I mean, who throws kisses to the neighbors?”)

In the end, I hope whomever it was, they got as good a laugh out of it as Joan and I did, telling their friends and family the same story, only from the recipient’s point of view.

Still, it bugs me that I know nothing about them, and they know everything about me. Suffice it to say, I believe my kiss-throwing days began and ended in that single, impulsive, uncharacteristic move one week ago, the day I threw a kiss (with the corresponding and required sound effect, “MMMWWWAAAHHH!!!”) to some innocent John or Jane Doe driving a black, late-mode sedan.

Maybe I should get contacts.

© 2020 David R. Haznaw

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