To call my writing art is maybe spurious and probably pretentious (as is using words like spurious and pretentious). But I didn’t invent the goddamn phrase in the title of this, so gimme a break! Recently, the title-event happened to me—a girlfriend broke up with me after reading one of my narrative nonfiction pieces! It’s called “Kiss Me Like You Mean It”, and I think the story made her finally realize a particular aspect of my personality that clashed harshly with hers was a dealbreaker—that I would never truly be happy. That it was an ingrained, changeless part of who I am.
In December 2005 and March 2006 I traveled to New Orleans to do post-Katrina relief work. The piece was about my final, epic day there in the spring of ’06. Part of it involved this woman with whom I hung out and danced and partied in the French Quarter—at the end of the night, I tried to kiss her, and she gave me the ol’ face-turn, so my kiss landed on her cheek. I believe the line that convinced my recent girlfriend that we weren’t right for each other was this one: “Then again . . . if you’re not gonna kiss me like you mean it, maybe it’s better you don’t kiss me at all. Because otherwise my dumbass will probably have to fall in love with you.” That was when my girlfriend realized that her grandma-kisses weren’t going to cut it for me. I’m talking lip-pecks. I’m talking naked in bed together, but still not kissing passionately. Maybe a tiny bit of mouth-opening at our most intimate moments, but NEVER TONGUE!! She never once really kissed me like she meant it.
And so, by breaking up with me after reading the piece, she demonstrated the absolute most fundamental point of the story! My writing caused her to take a certain action that I am now writing about.
Let’s just hope this writing doesn’t cause her to come smack the shit out of me!