heart crushes – real and imaginary

Don Draper Kisses

I refer to the Don from say, series 2 or 3 – before his gradual breakdown – perhaps he is still married… or on the verge of separation. We are in an elevator, one of those mirrored elevators, heavy with people and morning humours. We notice each other’s reflections – he wears the slightest smile as I catch him look me over.

Don Draper is checking me out, this man is such a flirt, his eyes sparkle and a game of glimpsing glances ensues. He tips his hat -

Good Morning, Good Bye, Going up …

A week later, I am caught in a rain shower, scuttling to the subway, wrapped in 1960’s tight fitted femininity, all curves on show, a rain coat hugging my   accentuated waist and this is where I feel his hand  – such brazen confidence – as if he had a right to touch me… ‘May I?’ he asks dipping under my umbrella.

The subway is closed – some fault or other has conspired to bring us together and so we take shelter underneath the awnings of a bookshop.

He buys me Nathanial West’s Miss Lonely Hearts - ‘you’ll like it’  – I raise my brow – ‘trust me,’ he says and adds, ‘there’s a bar across the street.’ –  I have 25 minutes before I have to be someplace else – with someone else.

I have a cocktail in my hand and gabble nonsense.

Later, – standing  kerbside, waiting for a cab to pull up and splash our shins, Don grabs my hand and pulls me close  – kisses me on the mouth – not forcefully – but gently – slowly. It is not a leading kiss – nor a misleading kiss. It is an entirety in and of itself  – a complete action – a world within – a full stop kiss. We will go no further.

‘Don Draper, I punctuate you…’

‘Ms Citron  – you belong to another time’

And then, – he lets me go.

Mr Big Kisses

He bruised my heart pinching it slowly and with precision – so that it became a perverted pleasure…

Our first kiss was outside the Polish Club, I harboured no grand expectations, he was not my usual type.

It was a Westside story sort of scenario, though more ‘upstairs-downstairs’ than ‘uptown-downtown’. No matter, what of it – at the end of the evening he kissed me, his lips lovely, full and pillow soft.  I thought he smelt of home, of fresh Dublin mountain air. We began to see each other.

I fell quite badly (far worse than Carrie) and clumsily and repeatedly until finally I realised that all those years back, I had left home for a reason.


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