I kissed him then. My teeth hit his and my mouth was open too much and it was messy and delicious and terrifying, and then we fell into a rhythm. I kissed him for the entire B-side of REM’s “Reckoning.” I kissed him so much I went home that night with red, swollen lips. I don’t think I ever experienced a physical sensation better than that burn. It seemed to wipe clean the dirty slate of my childhood.
I lost track of him years ago. I don’t know where he lives or what he does. I don’t know him digitally. I think of him only in analog: all that love twisted up with my records, which long ago warped and mildewed in my mother’s basement. But the lesson from “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” that someone can love me for what shames me most, remained. I sing those same lyrics to my daughter before bed